Nail fungus infections are said to occur when fungus or bacteria enter the nail beds via small cracks in the cuticles or nails. The infection usually results in pain in the infected area, which is quickly followed by other notable symptoms like discoloration (usually yellowing), swelling, inflammation and thickening etc. with time.
Without proper (and timely) medical care, the nail fungus can escalate the cause the infected nail to crumble, split crack or fall off completely, exposing the nail bed to secondary infection.
Nail Fungus Home Remedies
The trick to treating a nail fungus involves curbing it in the initial stages itself, usually by the time the initial symptoms start occurring. Fortunately, that can be done with certain home remedies which would save you from the rigors of opting for expensive medications and procedures to treat the condition. Given below are some of the more common home remedies for a nail fungus.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda can effectively act as an effective home remedy for a variety of bacterial and fungal infections, thanks mainly to its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. A nail fungus can also be cured effectively by baking soda.
Method: Mix baking soda (1/2 cup), hydrogen peroxide (1/4 cup) and Epsom salts (1/2 cup) with water (4 cups) and white vinegar (1/4) to form a thick paste. Wash the infected nail nicely (preferably with vinegar), pat it dry with a soft towel and apply this paste over the nail, making sure you cover it completely from the cuticle to the tip.
Wrap the infected nail with a tape or bandage and wait for at least 6-7 hours. Remove the bandage and replace it with a fresh one. Continue this remedy for at least 3 weeks by which time you would be able to see the infection dissipating.
2. Lemon Juice
Another potential home remedy for nail fungus infections, lemon juice is known for its antifungal properties that can flush out even stubborn pathogens from the body. The citric acid content of the juice would also make it difficult for the fungus to grow and spread. In addition to this, the antiseptic properties of lemon juice would ensure a quick recovery from the infection.
Method: Squeeze a couple of lemons to extract their juice. Using a dropper, apply a few drops of this juice directly on the infected nail. Wait for about 10 minutes and then rinse the nail in warm water. Continue this remedy regularly for at least 3 weeks to get rid of the nail fungus completely.
You can opt to add a few drops of olive oil to the lemon juice before applying it to the infected nail. While the lemon juice would eradicate the infection, olive oil would nourish your skin and soften it.
Garlic is known to contain a substance called allicin which is a potent antifungal agent capable of treating any and every kind of fungal infection in the body, including a nail fungus. Therefore, garlic is often recommended as a very effective home remedy to treat the condition and its symptoms.
Method: You can opt to eat a few cloves of raw garlic every day to fight off the infection from within the body. Alternatively, you can crush a few garlic cloves and mix them with olive oil (2 tablespoons would do). Let the mixture sit for a day or so and then mix a few drops of it with the same amount of white vinegar.
Apply the resultant mix on the infected nail and cover the same with a bandage. Remove the bandage after a few hours and replace it with a fresh one. Continue doing this for at least 2 weeks or so in order to curb the infection from spreading and reduce the symptoms of the same effectively.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, and can be used to treat a nail fungus effectively. But it needs to be diluted first in order to avoid skin damage.
Method: Mix food grade hydrogen peroxide with equal amounts of water. Let the resultant solution sit overnight. Using a dropper, apply a few drops of this mix on the infected nail (using a dropper or a cotton ball) and then cover the same with a bandage for about 5-6 hours. Replace the bandage afterwards. Alternatively, you can soak the infected nail in the solution for about 20 minutes every day to get relief from the infection and its symptoms.
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar can be used to treat even severe cases of nail funguses. Regular application of diluted white vinegar on the infected site can provide extended relief from the condition and its symptoms in addition to eradicating the pathogens behind the infection.
Method: Mix white vinegar and lukewarm water in the ration 1:2. Soak the infected nail in this solution for about 20 minutes. Follow this remedy at least twice every day for a couple of weeks until the infection is cured.
In case your skin develops irritation after dipping it into the solution, add more water to the latter to dilute it. And follow the remedy at least once on alternate days. In either case though, make sure you dry the infected nail thoroughly after soaking it in order to prevent the infection from spreading.
6. Listerine Mouth Wash
Did you know that the mouthwash designed to kill the bacteria in your mouth can actually work wonders on a nail fungus as well? Case in point; the very effective Listerine mouthwash which is increasingly being promoted as an effective remedy for nail fungus infections.
Listerine mouthwash contains alcohol and several bacteria inhibiting compounds that can create an unfavorable environment for the pathogens behind the infection to grow and spread. The antiseptic properties of alcohol can also quicken the healing process.
Method: Really simple! Fill a tub with some vinegar, concentrated lemon juice and Listerine mouth wash. Soak the infected nails in this solution for about 20 minutes every day for a week or so to get rid of the infection. Make it a point to gently scrub the infected nail after soaking it in order to remove the fungal residues on it.
You can also use a clipper to gently cut off the portion of the nail that is infected by the fungus. But make sure you cover the exposed nail bed with an antiseptic bandage afterwards to curb secondary infections from setting in.
Not many know that onions can work effectively against several kinds of bacterial and fungal infections, including the nail fungus. So if you can’t seem to get any of the above mentioned remedies, just head over to the kitchen and grab an onion for instant relief.
Method: Peel a raw onion and slice it into thin pieces. Rub an onion slice on the infected nail for about 10 minutes until you get relief from the pain and discomfort caused by the infection. You can also opt to place some onion slices on the infected nail for about 30 minutes every day to curb the infection from spreading.
Another effective remedy for nail fungus using onions involves grinding a raw onion and applying the resultant paste on the infected nail. Cover with a bandage and replace the same after about 6 hours. Continue this remedy for a couple of weeks until the infection is cured completely.