Nail fungus, which also goes by the clinical name of onychomycosis, affects millions of people, but that doesn't make it any less embarrassing. The condition is marked by inflammation and swelling of the area surrounding the nails, as well as the yellowing, thickening, and/or crumbling of the nail. As the condition worsens, the nail may crack and you may lose the nail completely, but you don't have to let the condition worsen to that degree. Here are some hacks, tricks, and tips to help you alleviate the condition.
Keep Vicks VapoRub Handy
This product works wonders on toenail fungus treatment, because the camphor and eucalyptus oil ingredients are excellent antifungal agents. In fact, the U.S. Air Force recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of Vick's VapoRub on nail fungus. The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, asked test subjects to treat their nail fungus by dabbing a cotton swab in the product and applying it to the affected nail. As much as 83% of participants noted a marked improvement in the nail, while 20% reported that the fungus was completely eradicated.
Invest in an Antifungal Agent
There are some over the counter medications that treat nail fungus effectively for those who would like to try more traditional treatments. Typically, the medication comes in the form of a cream or ointment, which is applied to the damaged nail. The antifungal agents penetrate the nail and attack the source of the infection, eliminating irritation and discomfort as it works. Blood flow is stimulated during this process, which encourages the growth of a new, healthy nail. Once a new nail begins to form, the risks of additional infections are minimized.
Apple Cider Vinegar Works Wonders
There are many things that apple cider vinegar can treat and nail fungus is just one of them. Create a solution of equal parts of water and of apple cider vinegar, making enough of the solution to soak your foot for 30-minute intervals. After the 30 minutes, be sure to thoroughly dry the nail. If you do this each day, the nail will improve over the span of a few weeks.
Another method is to create a paste with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with rice flour (coarsely ground). As you apply the paste to the nail and surrounding area, gently scrub. The paste should be applied several times a week. In addition to eliminating the fungus, the paste will remove dead skin cells and give your skin a softer, healthier feel.
Try Listerine Mixed with White Vinegar
The thymol and menthol found in Listerine work as antifungal agents, while the acidic nature of the vinegar also attacks the fungus. Mix equal quantities of Listerine and white vinegar to create a soak and submerge the affected nails for a 45 to 60 minute period each day. The solution will make quick work of the fungal infections.
Baking Soda Cures a Few Ills
Almost every kitchen has a supply of baking soda handy, so this is a treatment you probably already have available. In addition to resolving nail fungus, it can also help to eliminate foot odor. In four cups of hot water, add half a cup of baking soda, a quarter of a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and a half cup of Epsom salt. Once you have mixed these ingredients together, stir in a quarter cup of white vinegar. Your nails should be soaked in this solution for 10 minutes, twice daily. After each time, wash, rinse, and completely dry the foot.
These are a few ways you can treat nail fungus at home. The condition should never be left untreated because it can worsen. If the infection does grow worse, even with treatment, contact your doctor as soon as possible. You may need a strong medication to eradicate the fungal infection.