Toenail fungus is one of the chronic and potentially contagious problem that affects millions of individuals worldwide .It becomes one of the most unpleasant business you have to deal with and can have such a significant impact on your social life. Officially known as onychomcosis, it’s mostly caused by moisture getting trapped in the warm dark areas which is the environment the fungus thrives in. There is the underlying fungal growth from dermatophytes, non-dermatophytes moulds and yeasts(especially the candida species).
Some of the symptoms of this infection include inflammation, yellowing, swelling, thickening and crambling of the nail. It is usually not painful unless the infection spreads. The fungus tends to thrive in certain conditions such as abnormal PH levels, weakened immune systems, poor hygiene, diabetes and continuous exposure to moist environments such as sweaty socks and shoes. If the infection is left untreated, the fungus can affect the entire nail up to the nail bed and one can ultimately lose the nail after continuous cracking and splitting of the nail. The good news is, toenail fungus is curable and can be easily and effectively treated by use of the following methods.
Modern methods :
1.Systemic anti-fungal medication
This is one of the most effective and common treatment method. It is available in pill form and some of the common systemic anti-fungal drugs include: Itraconazole,clotrimazole and terbinafine.
2.Topical anti-fungal medications
These can be applied on top of the infected toenail and applied as an ointment or cream. For this method to be more effective, it’s usually paired with systemic anti-fungal drugs. The topical medication is basically rubbed on the toenail twice a day and the exercise can take up to a year. Some of the commonplace topical drugs include butenafine,ciclopirox and amorolfine.
This can include Fox Diode Laser therapy, Pin-Pointe-type laser therapy and also Noveon Laser treatment. This have been tested and proven to be effective in the treatment of toenail fungus by heating and killing the fungus thus disrupting the spread of the infection.
This can either be surgical debridement or surgical destruction. Surgical debridement is done by the podiatrist whereby the infected nail is removed and this is done in cases where only a portion of the nail is infected. Surgical destruction on the other hand is whereby the nail matrix(the base of the nail responsible for growing new nail) is destructed. This prevents the nail from growing back and this process is only done in severe cases where the health of the individual is at risk due to the chronic pain and infection
There are compounds in garlic known as ajeone and allicin that have anti-fungal properties and have shown to be effective against foot fungus. You can make your own treatment from garlic by crushing the cloves, adding a bit of olive oil and white vinegar, put that in a foot soak then soak your feet for almost 30minutes.The idea of the white vinegar is to help in the restoration of the skin PH on the nail bed. You can soak in twice a day and within a short time, the fungus will start disappearing.
6.Hydrogen peroxide Treatment
There is no substantial evidence to show that hydrogen peroxide can be used as an anti-fungal it however hardens the cell wall preventing fungi from penetrating. Mix it with baking soda, salt and white vinegar to create a strong anti-fungal treatment to help fight the toenail infection. The good thing is they are all readily available at any drug store. To appy, soak a cotton ball in the medication then place it on the infected area for ten minutes. Try this twice a day for several weeks to get positive results.
The human body has good bacteria that aids in the maintenance of good health. When the delicate balance of the micro-flora in the body is disrupted, so many infections results such as the fungal infection of the nail. The probiotics help in the normalizing and restoration of the healthy balance of the bacteria in the body. Additionally they contain the lactobacillus bacteria which produces a compound that poisons candida. It’s therefore important that to take probiotic supplements to help in the boosting of the immune system as well as encouraging healthy nail growth.
Oils such as coconut, oregano, tea tree and thyme are potent natural remedy for fungal foot infections. They contain anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-septic properties and can therefore be used as a fungicide. They have active compounds which help in the dissolving of the vulnerable fungal cells by disintegrating their cell walls making it hard for them to thrive. Coconut oil also contains immune-boosting properties. To use it that mix two spoonfuls of the respective oils with olive oil, dip in some cotton then place it on the nail for 15minutes.Do this thrice a day until the infection disappears.
9.Plant extract treatment
Snakeroot leaf extract or grapefruit seed extract can be applied twice a day. This extracts have anti-microbial properties and have been found to be efficient in the treatment of toenail fungus infection. Snakeroot leaf extract can be used as an alternative to ketaconazole because it is just as effective.
10.Listerine mouthwash and vinegar treatment
Listerine kills fungus and bacteria in the mouth and can therefore be used as an alternative treatment to toenail fungus infection. It has alcohol that helps to keep the fungus and bacteria away since it acts as a strong antiseptic. The vinegar on the other hand aids in the maintenance of the PH levels. They therefore work simultaneous to help in the elimination of the foot fungus. Just mix a little bit of Listerine and white vinegar in a foot soak then soak your feet for 30 minutes twice a day until the infection clears.
The above methods are not only the methods that can be used to get rid of toenail fungus. They are however some of the most effective, affordable, fast and reliable methods one can use. Toenail fungal infection is also very preventable hence practicing of very good personal hygiene and proper diet is highly encouraged.