Toenail fungus is a common issue that can affect anyone, from people who work indoors, to athletes, kids, and adults. Even though nail fungus is more common than you might think, there’s good news – you can prevent and treat nail fungus through a few healthy habits and some home remedies.
What is Toenail Fungus?
Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis. It is a pretty common kind of body fungus that can affect both your fingernails and toenails. Nail fungus is easy to spot by its characteristic yellow or whitish color; most nail fungus conditions begin as a single spot beneath your finger or toenails.
Over time, the fungal infection can develop and eat into the keratin – a protein similar to collagen – of your finger and toenails. Nail fungus can affect more than one nail at the same time, so it’s important to treat infected nails when you see them, as well as practice some good habits to prevent it from affecting you in the first place.
Additionally, lots of people think that toenail fungus is the same thing as athlete’s foot (also known as tinea pedis) but the latter condition is actually a separate type of fungus that can affect the skin between your toes. It’s not the same kind of fungus that develops beneath your toe or fingernails. A few different types of fungus and bacterial infections include dermatophytes, Candida onychomycosis, and cellulitis.
Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
The root cause of nail fungus typically lies within the health of your digestive tract. There may be an overgrowth of fungus that is throwing off the entire system and presenting itself as nail fungus, an opportune area since your feet are typically a damp area.
It’s important to address the health of your digestive system with a gut reset. The gut reset was created to address the health, environment, sensitivity, and permeability of your gut. It is a 5 step process that starts with flushing out the toxins and gut irritants. Then you’ll seal your gut back up with nutrients and vitamins. After this, you would replace foods in your diet with good foods that don’t irritate the gut while also building up your enzymes and probiotics to repopulate your gut. Lastly, in the gut reset after all of this has been accomplished, you would reintroduce foods that you have been eliminating.
Before you take on this challenge, you’d want to have your foundation set which is typically achieved by the third Lifestyle Challenge that you complete.
A great way to help restore balance to your body during the gut reset and at any time is with the Livingood Daily Microbe Cleanse. It will help to knock down the yeast and candida in your body.
Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus
If you don’t know if you are at risk, here are some risk factors to help you evaluate:
- Weakened immune system; you may be more likely to develop infected nail beds over time. You may be at higher risk if you already have an athlete’s foot or nail bed injury.
- Digestive tract issues
- History of athlete’s foot
- Increased amounts of sweating
- Not wearing shoes
- Nail Bed injuries
- Older aged adults
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Not sure if you have nail fungus or if the skin under your nails is just bruised or dirty? Check for these symptoms:
- Nails that thicken over time
- White and yellowish discoloration
- Distorted (i.e. bent or curved) nail shape
- Brittle nail plate
- Dark colors or discolored appearance
- A foul smell
- Ringworm of the nail bed
Overall, toenail fungus is usually more common in toenails than fingernails since your feet provide a damper environment for fungus to attach and grow in.
8 Home Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
Now, here are 8 natural home remedies for toenail fungus!
1. Tea Tree Oil
Try tea tree oil for a holistic and organic solution. Tea tree oil is used for a variety of ailments thanks to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. Just paint your toes or fingernails twice daily with a cotton swab soaked in tea tree oil.
2. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is another great choice. It’s an effective antifungal and antibacterial that comes from the properties of silver. By spraying colloidal silver to any fungus-infected in the morning and night daily, you should see improvements in a short period of time.
This is a great addition to your wellness cabinet. It can be used to support and reduce symptoms of bacterial infections, sinuses, sore throat, styes, rashes, fungus, viruses, eye and skin infection, swollen lymph nodes, UTIs, etc.
Be sure the silver is colloidal silver and not ionic silver. Colloidal has silver as a part of the structure of water whereas ionic is just silver ions by themselves suspended in water. Not only is ionic ineffective but can be harmful. Silver serum is a great colloidal option that comes in a convenient spray bottle.
3. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil may be a good nail fungus treatment since it contains thymol: an antifungal and antibacterial compound that can kill nail fungus effectively. As with tea tree oil, apply oregano oil to any affected areas twice per day with a cotton swab or ingest it orally. You can even combine both of these oils together for maximum potency.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Try hydrogen peroxide, which can quickly kill any fungus that grows on your toenails. Mix 1/8 of a cup of hydrogen peroxide with 4 cups of water and soak your feet in the mixture for between 10 and 20 minutes for maximum effect.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is something of a superfood. It can treat toenail fungus thanks to its vinegar content, which is antifungal and slightly acidic. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and apply it to any affected areas for about 20 minutes each day.
6. Black Tea
Black tea provides tannic acid. Tannic acid can dry out your feet and kill bacteria. It can also close the pores of your feet to reduce any sweating. Add 5 to 6 tea bags to 2 quarts of boiled water. Then let the water cool before soaking your feet in the solution.
7. Baking Soda Soak
Make yourself a baking soda soak by mixing baking soda with warm water. The resulting paste material should be applied directly to your finger or toenails and allowed to sit for between 10 and 20 minutes. Then rinse the affected area with warm water and thoroughly dry your foot. The baking soda will burn away the fungus and feel pleasant at the same time.
Cornmeal has long been used as a way to banish black-spot fungal disease from roses, so it must have some sort of antifungal activity. It is a cheap and easy solution for toenail fungus.
To make the cornmeal soak, put about an inch of cornmeal in a shallow container that will just fit the affected foot. Carefully pour about an inch of warm (not hot) water on top of the cornmeal and let it sit for an hour, so the water and cornmeal can combine naturally. After an hour, add enough additional warm water to cover the foot and soak for an hour.
The mush must cover the whole area, not just the toenails, because fungus thrives everywhere on the toes, especially between them. After an hour, rinse the mush off with warm water and pat the foot dry with a clean towel. Soak the toenails once a week until the fungus clears up. Powdered cornmeal may be sprinkled in shoes and socks during the day as well.
Ultimately, there are plenty of great ways to treat nail fungus. Fortunately, any of the above remedies should help to resolve the issue quickly, getting you to get back to your daily routine in no time!
Dr. Livingood, yes that is his real name, is the Founder of drlivingood.com natural health site and also the founder of Livingood Daily. He has authored two Amazon #1 Best Selling Books Livingood Daily and Make Food Simple. In 2007 after nearly losing his father to health conditions, Dr. Livingood was prompted to find a health care system to save his father’s life. Where medicine failed Dr. Livingood discovered solutions that got his father off 15 medications and overcame major heart and autoimmune conditions. As a Doctor of Natural Medicine and DC he now serves thousands of people in Morrisville, NC, and millions through his online and media presence. Dr. Livingood, his wife Jessica, and three kids spend their lives leading people nationally and locally in the hopes that others can experience real health.
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