Toe Nail Fungus
Toe nail fungus is a disease medically known as Onychomycosis which is basically a fungi infection of toe nails resulting in the discoloration and sometimes it may make the nails to start cracking. Many people tend to neglect toe nail fungus but with time especially if the condition if not reversed or otherwise treated it can make the nails to rot eventually falling off from its bed. Toe nail fungus often affects the toe nails due to the warm and damp conditions that the toes get exposed to but such can also affect fingernails although in very rare cases.
Causes of Toe Nail Fungus
Toe nail fungus can be caused by various things including but not limited to
- Wearing of tight uncomfortable shoes for long periods of time.
- The fungus causing the disease can be spread through sharing of bathrooms especially the showers.
- Nail separation or breakage allowing the fungus to enter into the nail.
- Close toe nail cutting.
- Wearing damp shoes or wearing shoes with damp feet.
- A generally weakened or suppressed immune system.
- Age factors (elderly people over 50 years are more at risk of getting the disease as compared to young people due to weakened immune system.)
- Ingrown toenails can also cause toe nail fungus.
- Abnormal skin PH.
- Poor hygiene and general health.
The fungus that causes onychomycosis thrives in wet, humid and damp areas. Therefore the risk of getting toe nail fungus is higher in people living or working on wet and humid areas. Again, poor hygiene like wearing the same pair of shoes over and over again without airing and even at times without drying the feet will enhance the chances of getting the disease.
Symptoms of Toe Nail Fungus
There exist various different types of nail fungus and which exhibit different characteristics and symptoms. However, there are a number of common symptoms that almost all nail fungus including toe nail fungus will exhibit including;
- Nail shape distortion.
- Thickened and layered nails.
- Dull nails with no shine or luster.
- Discolored nails.
- Crumbly, brittle and often ragged toe nails.
- Gradual pain as the fungus takes its manifestation.
- Sometimes, there may be some foul smell/odor.
Home Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
There are some of the homes remedied for the toe nail fungus. Some of the remedies include: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Try This– Washing the toe nails and drying them well as the fungus is in most cases caused by lack of personal hygiene.
- Try This– One can also apply undiluted tea tree oil with olive oil to the affected toe nail if not that way one can put few drops of tea tree oil on toenails and rub it thoroughly.
- Mouthwash- One can also soak their toes in Listerine mouthwash. Which is powerful antiseptic that leaves the toe nails looking healthy. Mouthwash contains several compounds and alcohols like salicylate thymol and euchalyptol which are strong toenail fungus treatment.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– One can cure toe nail fungus using warm water and natural apple cider vinegar this is a mild acid and prevents toenail fungus from spreading.
·Tea Tree Oil- Use of tea tree oil and lavender oil this is because tea tree is a natural antibiotic and lavender will help fight the infection and prevent skin irritation, as it has antiseptic properties.
·Avoid Sugars- One should also completely eliminate the refined sugars and start eating more fruits and vegetables.
·Open Shoes- In addition people should avoid keeping their legs enclosed as these leads to the ailment and therefore it’s very important for one to be in open shoes whenever it is possible for them to do so.
·Wash Socks Often- One should also get rid of fungus source, launder their socks very thoroughly and change them daily as this ensures the body hygiene.
·Antifungal Powder- In addition one should also dust their shoes with antifungal powder although in some cases some people advocate in putting them to the freezer so as to kill fungal but as much as they may do so some the resistance spores may survive this treatment and therefore one should not rely much on these type of treatment.
·Keep Your Feet Dry- One should dry the feet whenever they wash them and the washing should be done in daily bases and the drying should be done even around the nails and also one can also use the hair dryer if its available.
·Trim Your Nails- It’s also very important for one to trim the nails often to keep them short and comfortable so as it will be very easier for one to clean underneath the nails as its in most cases happens that the dirt lodged under nail can contain the fungus and give them a place to grow.
·Lotion- As a part of home remedy one should also treat the cracked feet with lotion and apply an antiseptic ointment any where the skin seems inflamed as the breaks in the skin provides a route for the entry of fungus and other organism and therefore to avoid secondary infection such a home remedy is very important.
·Soak Your Feet- One can also soak their feet with the traditional antifungal solutions or any other concoction.
·Vapor Rub- Vapor rub is also an important home remedy that really works all one needs to do is apply it on the infected toe nail.
- Oregano- Oil of oregano can be used to treat toe nail fungal infections. It has antifungal properties. The key ingredient is flavanoids and phenolic acids which have been shown to treat fungal infections. It is advised that you do not apply the oil directly onto the skin and instead dilute it with olive oil. This reduces irritation on the skin.
- Thyme– Thyme contains a key ingredient known as thymol which has antimicrobial properties. It is a cheap herb that is useful in eliminating fungal infections. All one has to do is to boil the thyme in hot water for about ten minutes then soak the feet in the solution for about half an hour everyday.
- Grape Fruit Extract– Seed extracts from the grape fruit can be used to effectively treat fungal infections. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals and flavanoids which have bee show to display a strong level of killing viruses, fungi and bacteria. It is available as a liquid formula which can be applied onto the affected area in order to treat the fungal infection.
- Tea Tree Oil– Tea tree oil is a widely used disinfectant. It is known as malaleuca oil and is one of the most studied kinds of medicine. It has a number of compounds that are effective in treating a variety of conditions. Although it has been known to treat mostly bacterial infections, it is also known for treating fungal infections. The oil should be applied directly on the affected area.
- Garlic– The main ingredient in garlic is Allicin which is used to treat ringworm infections. The infections are fungal and therefore, it can also be effectively used to treat toe nail fungal infections. In order to treat your toe nail infection, it is recommended that you use salve or oil that is prepared from garlic essentials. This should be applied directly onto the affected area.
Diet for Toe Nail Fungus
Diet is a very important requirement which can be used to enhance the body’s general health and boost the immune system to fight against various medical conditions and diseases including toe nail fungus. A recommendable toe nail fungus diet should include:
- An increased consumption of water. Water is very essential in getting rid of toe nail fungus as such helps in carrying off the toxins from the body. On the same note, it will be helpful lowering the amount of sugars consumed. Lower the amount of sugars including those sourced from healthy food components like proteins and carbohydrates.
- Increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for supplementation of vitamins, water and minerals focus on vegetables like soy, broccoli, cabbage and onions as are a good source of silicon, sulfur and biotin which are essential minerals for treatment of toe nail fungus.
- Proteins are also essential as such will help nourishment and re-growth in case where the nails are broken or when nails are detached from the nail beds. Yogurt is a good source of proteins and such will also ensure provision of Probiotics to help boost the immune system. In your diet, you may also want to include some oil from tea tree as such have anti-fungal qualities essential for healing the disease.
Prevention of Toe Nail Fungus
Diagnosis of toe nail infection may include various medical examinations and taking of some samples for testing. However, even before it gets to contract the disease for you to seek medical attention, there are a number of ways that you can employ to help prevent occurrence in the very first place. Some of the toe nail fungus preventive measures include
- Practicing of proper personal hygiene. On this, it will be helpful to clean the bathroom area clean and hygienic. You can even consider getting and using shower shoes every time you need a shower. After showering or dampening your feet in any way, it is important that you properly dry the feet, and wear clean dry socks. Use good quality socks that are both comfortable and those that will allow the feet and toes to free breathe. It is also important that you wear properly aired and clean shoes that are comfortable, not too tightly fitting. If your feet sweat, use foot powder to help prevent them from dampening.
- Proper nail care. When cutting the nails, ensure that it is not too close to the nail stem as such can allow entrance of the virus into the toe base or stems. On the same note, ensure that the nails are not too long and wear protective shoes to prevent cracking the nails when walking etc. Avoid over application of nail polish as this may also lead to the weakening of the nails which in turn will allow entrance of the virus into the nail.
- Avoid overexposure to water. When washing or when working in wet and humid environments, use plastic gloves to prevent overexposure to such conditions. Toe nail fungus can also affect the fingernails; therefore, it is important to put this into consideration especially when dealing with water handling.
- To prevent the spread of the fungus say from the toe nails to fingernails, wash the hands every time you touch or every time the hands come into contact with the infected toe nails.
- Avoid sharing of personal effects like razors; nail clippers, nail cutters and other sharp objects as such can necessitate the spread of the fungus causing toe nail fungus from one individual to another.
Generally, a healthy combination of all food nutrients and minerals will be essential to boosting the functionality of the immune system. This in as much as it may not be outright cure for toe nail fungus will play an essential part to enhancing quick recovery and healing. If by any chance that the above home remedies and prevention measures do not work in alleviating or totally preventing occurrence of toe nail fungus, it will be helpful consulting with your physician for other medical assistance.
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