Nail fungus is a condition that begins as a white or yellow spot found under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. When the fungal infection becomes severe, nail fungus will cause the nail to become discolored, thickened and crumble at the edge and can affect several nails but not all of them.
Nail fungus is also called onchomycosis and tinea unguium and when it affects the areas between the toes and the skin the feet it is called athlete’s foot or tinea pedis.
- The nails are thickened
- Nails are distorted, dull without its distinctive shine
- Nails are brittle, crumbly or ragged
- A dark color that is caused by debris that accumulates under the nail
- Infected nails will separate from the nail which is also called onycholysis
- Pain in the toes or fingertips and a slight foul odor.
In normal and healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are caused by fungus that lives in moist and wet areas. People taking a bath in communal showers like those at a gym or in swimming pools. Athletes are more susceptible to the fungal infections due to wearing tight-fitting shoes and having a repetitive injury on the toenails. People suffering from athlete’s foot have a high risk of fungal infections on the toenails.
Old people suffering from underlying health conditions are also prone to fungal infections and conditions that weaken the immune system can put an individual at high risk of fungal infections such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS and taking medications such as steroids.
- Make a scrub by mixing baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup white vinegar and ½ cup Epsom salt and 4 cups of hot water and then mix them well. Soak the affected nail in the mixture or saturate a cotton ball and place it on the affected nail for at least 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure two times every day.
- Using garlic helps with the condition since it has a compound called allicin that has antifungal properties. Crush fresh garlic well until all of the allicin is released. Mix it with white vinegar and soak the affected toe in the mixture for as long as it is comfortable. Another way is by consuming fresh garlic can also help with the condition.
- Soak the affected area in mouth wash. The alcohol found in the mouth wash functions as an antiseptic that helps in eliminating fungus. Immerse the nail in the mouth wash for at least 15 minutes every day.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar in equal amounts of water and soak the affected nail in the solution for at least 30 minutes every day and dry the nails thoroughly. The acidity of the apple cider vinegar helps prevent the fungus from spreading and also help in eliminating bacteria.
- Apply Vick’s Vaporub on the affected nail and cover the affected nails with gloves and for affected toe with socks before going to bed.
- Trim and thin the affected nails and toenails in order to help lessen pain and pressure caused on the nails.