What are the best ways to cure nail fungus at home? Our guide outlines what to use, and when you should consult a doctor for nail fungus.
What is nail fungus and how does it come about? Nail fungus is a fungal infection of the nails, which is primarily triggered by thread fungi. These spread particularly well in a humid and warm environment. Athletes, diabetics and people with weakened immune systems are particularly often affected by nail fungus.
Which home remedies can be used against nail fungus? If the fungal infestation is in its initial stages, home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil or baking powder can be used to fight the infection. However, it makes more sense to use the home remedies as a supplement to classical therapy.
When is it advisable to visit a doctor? Since nail fungus is very stubborn, most home remedies are not strong enough to kill the mushrooms. To prevent the infection from spreading, antifungals prescribed by the doctor with the active substance ciclopoli should be used.
A fungal infestation is one of the most common skin diseases. However, if you want to do without medication, you can also use simple home remedies to fight the fungus.
In this article you will get information about how a fungal disease develops and which home remedies can be used to cure nail fungus at home. In addition, we will tell you when you should consult a doctor.
1. Nail fungus – an unpleasant affair
Whether in the swimming pool, in your own shower or in the sauna – fungal spores lurk everywhere. For this reason, fungal diseases are among the most common skin diseases. It is estimated that about 3 to 12% of the population is affected by nail fungus. Older people, diabetics and athletes are particularly vulnerable. If the immune system is weakened, the germs can also spread better.
In most cases, the foot, more precisely the big toe is affected. Rather less often, a fungal infection occurs on the hands. It is noticeable by whitish yellow or brown discolored nails. Often they are additionally thickened and brittle.
Nail fungus is highly contagious and is usually triggered by thread fungi. Only in rare cases are mould or yeast fungi responsible for the infection. Since nail fungus occurs as a result of foot fungus, sufferers often have to contend with both fungal diseases.
2. Best ways to cure nail fungus at home
In the initial stage, you can also use simple home remedies to help the nail fungus.
Nail fungus is unfortunately not only a cosmetic problem, but a health problem. However, many sufferers who suffer from nail fungus do not want to resort to strong medications to get rid of the fungus.
If it is an incipient fungal disease, in some cases already natural home remedies can help against the nail fungus. However, no scientific evidence has yet been demonstrated for any of these products..
In addition, it also makes sense to use the appropriate home remedies in addition to a drug treatment. In this way, it is possible to fight the nail fungus effectively and long-lasting.
Below we present the most popular home remedies that you can use against nail fungus.
2.1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural product derived from the Australian tea tree. The essential oil contains terpenes, which have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. For the treatment of nail fungus, soak a cotton wool in diluted tea tree oil and apply it to the affected nail three to four times a day.
Even if tea tree oil has no side effects and is generally very well tolerated, contact cesses can occur during use. In this case, you should not continue to use the oil.
2.2. Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies for nail fungus. In vinegar and especially apple cider vinegar there is an acid that changes the pH of the skin so that the fungi do not survive. In this way, the nail fungus is prevented from growing.
Mix the same amount of apple cider vinegar and water and apply the mixture several times a day with a cotton pad to the toe. In addition, you can take a vinegar footbath twice a week, mixing vinegar and water in a ratio of 4:1.
2.3. Baking powder
Anyone who bakes occasionally also has baking powder at home. However, this miracle cure can also be used for cleaning or fighting nail fungus. The purpose of the application is to dry out the mushroom with the baking powder. Therefore, you should spread the powder several times a day on the affected toe.
Another option is to make a paste from water and baking powder. This can be applied to the nail just like the powder.
The sulfur-containing active ingredients of the garlic have an antibacterial effect.
Garlic is a home remedy that has many positive properties. With garlic it is possible to fight the nail fungus both inside and outside.
For internal use, you can simply eat one to two cloves of garlic a day. The ingredients ensure that the fungus is killed. Another option is to squeeze out the garlic cloves and spread the juice on the affected nail. To avoid burning, you can mix the garlic juice with one or two tablespoons of olive oil.
A proven and popular home remedy against nail fungus is also toothpaste. However, when using, you should make sure that the toothpaste contains fluorine. This ingredient is responsible for killing the fungal spores.
Apply the toothpaste in a thin layer and allow to dry well. Then rinse with clear water. Repeat several times a day.
Good to know: To prevent nail fungus, you should always dry your feet thoroughly and wear bathing shoes in the swimming pool. Wash your towels regularly at a minimum of 60 degrees.
3. When to consult a doctor
Treatment with home remedies is only useful if the fungal infection is not yet so advanced. If the nail fungus spreads despite the use of home remedies, you should immediately consult a doctor to inhibit growth. If the fungal disease remains untreated, it can spread and severely hinder your everyday life.
A nail fungus does not heal by itself, so special medications must be used. The most common treatment method is the use of antifungals in the form of nail polish. These often contain the active substance ciclopoli, which is effective against all known nail fungal pathogens. The paint is applied daily to the affected area.
If a strong nail fungus is diagnosed, which has already reached the nail growth zone, the doctor also prescribes tablets. These release their active substance into the bloodstream so that it reaches the nail bed. In order to increase the effectiveness, you should also apply the anti-fungal varnish.
A very new method to rid the toe or finger of nail fungus is laser therapy. The affected nail is irradiated with an infrared laser, which makes the fungal spores inactive. However, the costs for this therapy are very high and are not covered by the health insurance.
Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.