Onychomycosis is a fancy medical term for a common problem—toenail fungus. And while this might be an ordinary condition, getting rid of toenail fungus can be quite a challenge. It generally takes a long time to eradicate this vexing problem and there is no quick fix. Even expensive laser treatments can take weeks or months before you’ll see clear healthy nails. Meanwhile, oral medications can have side effects like liver damage. If you’re looking for healthier inexpensive cures, try one of these five natural remedies.
1. Vick’s VapoRub
Believe it or not, the trusty Vick’s VapoRub you use to help relieve coughs and congestion can also combat toenail fungus. As a matter of fact, many nurses use this to treat foot fungal infections for themselves and their families.
The active ingredients are camphor, eucalyptol and menthol. While designed to help loosen phlegm, act as a cough suppressant and topical analgesic, they have the added bonus of eliminating the microbes responsible for toenail fungus.
All you need to do is rub Vick’s over the infected nail morning and night. Cover with a Band-Aid if necessary. Keep using the treatment until the nail grows out clear. It will take several months, but be patient. Anecdotal evidence claims it works well.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you can’t stand the smell of Vick’s you might want to try using apple cider vinegar (ACV) for your toenail fungus. The enzymes in apple cider vinegar act on the bacteria that cause those unsightly yellowed and cracked nails. In addition the acidic pH also changes the environment so that alkaline loving fungus can’t thrive.
ACV is easy to use. You can apply it directly to the infected nail three times daily using a Q-Tip. Be sure to soak the nail well with the liquid. You can also soak feet in a one to one ratio mixture of ACV and water. Again it will take a few months before you see improvement.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has also been used successfully to eliminate toenail fungus. Many people report significant improvement within a few days. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic, known to kill microbes.
Using a cotton ball or Q-Tip, apply tea tree oil that has been diluted with water to the affected areas twice a day for several weeks or until nails grow out clear.
4. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is another great option for killing stubborn toenail fungus. It is a very strong antibiotic and can burn your stomach if taken internally. It can also irritate skin if applied directly. For toenail fungus, it’s best to mix about three drops of oregano oil with a teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture you the toenails twice daily. You should see improvement within a few weeks.
5. Good Old Fashioned Sunlight
Sunlight’s ultraviolet rays have been known to kill bacteria and fungus—even on toenails. If you like hanging out in the sun, let your toes roam free as much as possible. Within four to six months they should be clean and clear.