Let’s face it, nail fungus probably isn’t one of the nicest health topics to talk about but it is certainly one which affects a lot of people. The condition is caused by micro-organisms called Dermatophytes. It lives on the nail bed and eats the keratin which is the protein in your nail. Normally it will start at the end of the nail and work its way down to the base if left untreated. The end result is a nail which is thick and deformed and in some cases can affect the surrounding skin. Typically the big toe is affect first, spreading to the other toes later.
What Causes Fungal Nail Infection?
- Dermatophytes love warm and moist conditions such as sweaty socks and shoes. Buy cotton socks instead of nylon and used an anti-fugal powder if you suffer from sweaty feet.
- Sometimes the fungus can infect the nail via the skin. This can happen due to an ingrown toe nail or damage to the nail.
- If you have circulation problems, diabetes or HIV you have an increased chance of infection.
- If you suffer from athlete’s foot make sure you treat it quickly to prevent it turning into a fungal nail infection.
Treatment of Fugal Nail Infection
First of all before deciding what treatment to go for, please understand that it can take at least 3 months for the problem to go away. It can take 18 months for a nail to replace itself so this is not going to be a quick fix.
- Tea Tree – Tea Tree is a wonderfully potent natural antibacterial essential oil. Simply apply a few drops to the affected area a few times per day.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Either apply Hydrogen Peroxideto your nail with some cotton wool and allow to dry or soak in a mixture of 50% HP and 50% water.
- Vinegar – soak your feet daily in 50% vinegar, 50% water. Soak your feet for at least half an hour and it’s recommended you do this three times per day. There is a surprisingly large selection of vinegars available including wine vinegar and coconut vinegar. You can use any of them but generally it is Apple Cider or white vinegar which is used for nail infections. The reason vinegar works is because it is acidic and fungi don’t like acid conditions.
- Saprox – Saprox is a natural mud which is high in sulphur. Apply liberally to the toe and allow it to dry in. It is suggested that combining with another treatment will help speed up results.
- There are a number of other natural treatments to try including: Vitamin E Oil, Oregano Oil, Thyme Oil and Essential Oil Cinnamon Leaf.
If you are bothered by fungal nail infection it is definitely worth trying natural remedies first. Although there are a number of prescription drugs you can take they are not always effective and can be harsh on the liver. If you are at all unsure please always consult with a doctor or chiropractor.