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7 Surprising Home Remedies to Get Rid of Nail Fungus

Updated on October 23, 2017
isvayah profile image

Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.

There are a number of home remedies for nail fungus that can prove helpful.
There are a number of home remedies for nail fungus that can prove helpful.

How to Get Rid of Nail Fungus

Nail fungus can attack any one of us, but there’s no need to worry because there are a number of effective natural alternative remedies. This condition normally affects the toenails, but the fingernails can also become infected. The nail often changes color, becoming yellow, green, or black. The affected nails sometimes becomes painful. If left untreated, the fungus may gradually inflict serious damage on the nails, and they may eventually have to be removed by a physician.

Factors that Increase the Risk of Nail Fungus

  • Wearing tight shoes all day. Sandals are better; try to wear them when you can.
  • Playing a lot of sports. Long-distance running or any other sport your feet get very sweaty and remain in that state for a long period of time puts you at high risk.
  • Not changing your socks frequently enough.
  • Athlete’s foot. The fungus that causes this condition can spread to your nails.
  • A humid environment.
  • Damage to the nail, particularly if it occurs regularly.
  • Going barefoot in communal areas, such as locker rooms and around swimming pools. It’s better to wear flip-flops.
  • Biting your fingernails on a regular basis.
  • Using artificial nails.

How to Treat Nail Fungus With Home Remedies?

Conventional treatments for nail fungus involve various antifungal creams, ointments, and oral medications. Oral antifungal medications can have significant side-effects; don’t take them if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Laser treatment can be used to remove nail fungus, but it’s expensive, and there are doubts as to whether it’s really effective. It’s not normally covered by insurance.

There are also a number of useful natural remedies that can solve the problem. Before using any of these remedies, trim your nails so that the treatment has the best chance of working.

How to Cure Nail Fungus, by HowCast

Home Remedies for Nail Fungus : Conclusion

Remedies
Instruction
Coconut oil
Apply a few drops of coconut oil to your nails and surrounding skin. Do this remedy three times a day.
Tea tree oil
Dab a few drops of tea tree oil on the affected areas, let it stand for 15 minutes, and then wipe it off.
Lavender oil
Dab a few drops of lavender oil on the affected areas, let it stand for 15 minutes, and then wipe it off.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Soak your feet in a foot bath (made with ACV) for about 30 minutes, then dry your feet thoroughly.
Garlic
Smear crushed garlic onto the affected nail, leave for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse clear.
Lemon juice
Apply lemon juice to the affected nails, and then rinse off after about half an hour.
Oregano oil
Apply oregano oil mixture to the affected nails, leave for at least 15 minutes, and then rub it off.

#1 Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is known to contain powerful anti-fungal properties due to its high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids. Use high-quality virgin coconut oil, not the normal commercial oils (Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized or “RBD”).

What to Do?

First, wash and dry the affected toes. Apply the coconut oil to the nails as well as the surrounding skin. Repeat three times a day.

#2 Tea Tree Oil

The tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, is found in Australia. It is not the same species as the bush that produces the beverage tea, which is Camellia sinensis. Tea tree oil has strong antifungal and antibacterial effects, making it an effective alternative remedy for nail fungus.

American researchers, writing in the Journal of Family Practice in 1994, showed that tea tree oil was an effective treatment for toenail fungus, giving similar results to the conventional fungal medication Clotrimazole.

Both treatments were applied to the nails in a “double-blind” trial (neither the patients, nor the physicians treating them knew who was being given which treatment).

What to Do?

Dab tea tree oil on the affected areas with a cotton ball, leave for fifteen minutes, and then wipe it off with a paper towel. Tea tree oil can sting and may damage the skin to some extent. It’s better to dilute the tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or grapefruit oil, before use. Dilute in a one to one ratio. Treat three times a day.

A Warning Word

Like other essential oils, never take this oil internally!

#3 Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has long been valued for its antifungal properties, and many people use it to combat fungal nail infections. Always buy pure lavender essential oil, not merely oil which contains a lavender fragrance.

What to Do?

Dab a few drops of the oil on the affected areas with a clean cotton ball, leave for at least fifteen minutes, and then wipe off with a paper towel. Repeat three times a day.

A Warning Word

Some people find that lavender oil irritates their skin. If you find this, dilute at least three to one with a carrier oil, such as olive oil. If you still have irritation, try another remedy. Lavender oil is sometimes combined with tea tree oil, in order to get the effects of both remedies.

ACV has powerful antifungal properties, which are useful for banishing nail fungus.
ACV has powerful antifungal properties, which are useful for banishing nail fungus.

#4 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV for short) has long been used for nail fungus treatment. It has significant antifungal effects.

What to Do?

Make up a foot bath, using one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Soak your feet in the bath for about 30 minutes, then dry your feet thoroughly with paper towels. Carry out this treatment once a day; continue for a week or so after all visible signs of the fungus have gone.

White vinegar has also been used in a similar manner, but ACV is preferred.

#5 Garlic

You can use garlic to deal with fungal nail infections. Freshly-crushed garlic contains active compounds, such as allicin and ajoene, which have significant anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

What to Do?

Crush some garlics, then mix it with a little carrier, such as olive oil or vinegar. Smear the mixture onto the affected nail. It is best to put a bandage around the garlic to hold it in place. Leave for at least 30 minutes, then rinse clear.

Note:

Some people find garlic irritating to their skin, so use this remedy with caution at first.

#6 Lemon Juice

You can use lemon juice to combat nail fungus. The acid in the juice tends to inhibit fungal growth. Squeeze some lemons to get the fresh juice, and then apply it to the affected nails. Rinse off after about half an hour. Repeat two to three times a day.

The acid in lemon tends to inhibit fungal growth, making it a useful remedy for nail fungus.
The acid in lemon tends to inhibit fungal growth, making it a useful remedy for nail fungus.

#7 Oregano oil

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a common herb, also known as wild marjoram. The essential oil from this plant has notable antifungal properties. The oil is very strong, and usually irritates the skin if used neat. Dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, before use.

What to Do?

Mix one part oregano oil with at least six parts carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the affected nails, leave for at least fifteen minutes, and then rub it off with a paper towel. Repeat three times a day.

A Warning Word

Never take oregano oil internally. The herb itself is perfectly safe to eat, and is used in many Italian recipes.

© 2017 Isvaiyah

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