It takes at least six months to one year for the new and clean toenail to grow back. If the infection has not been treated regularly and completely the fungus has enough time to infect the toenail again.
The good news is that fungal toenail infection can be treated at home during the initial stages of its appearance. There are effective home remedies that cure the infection completely. However, if the infection is severe then it is best to consult a doctor and get treatment immediately.
Tips on Dealing with Fungal Toenail Infection at Home
1. Treatment with tea tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil is used in treatment of various anti-fungal and anti-bacterial infections. It is the best choice for treating fungal infection mainly due to its being a fungicide and a disinfectant.
Prepare a solution by mixing a tablespoon of tea tree essential oil with ½ teaspoon eucalyptus oil. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and massage it onto the infected toenail. Leave the tea tree solution on the skin. You don’t have to wash it. If your skin allows then apply undiluted tea tree essential oil directly on the fungus infected toenail.
Perform this treatment once every couple of hours for at least a month to see improvement in the condition of your toenail. Even when the infection starts disappearing continue with the application of tea tree oil for the next couple of month. Once the infection is cured completely massage the tea tree oil once every day on the toenail till a new toenail grows in its place.
There is another alternative method of treating fungal toenail infection with tea tree oil. Take a small basin and fill it with warm water. Add two teaspoons of tea tree essential oil in the water or pour ½ tablespoon of tea tree essential oil based shampoo.
Mix it well in the water and soak your infected foot in it. Leave for 15 minutes or until the water runs cold. Take the foot out and dry it properly using a soft towel. Rub tea tree essential oil directly on the fungal toenail. Perform the treatment until infection disappears completely.
2. Treatment using apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used extensively for treating infections caused by bacteria and fungi. The vinegar is acidic in nature and hence very effective in treating fungal infections. Take a cotton ball and soak it in a solution of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, three drops lavender essential oil and ½ teaspoon water.
Place the cotton ball on the infected toenail and wrap the toenail with a duct tape or medical gauze. Leave for three to four hours and then remove the cotton ball. Clean the toenail with using a soft tissue and then repeat application of apple cider vinegar solution.
This treatment should be done repeatedly and regularly for a period of one month. After one month repeat the treatment twice a day for a period of three months. Application of apple cider vinegar solution will ensure that the fungal infection does not re-appear.
Soaking your infected toenail in a solution of one cup apple cider vinegar and two cups water is also an effective treatment for disinfecting the skin. This treatment should be done daily before going to bed at night.
3. Treatment using white vinegar
Using white vinegar for treatment of fungal toenail infection is a very common and popular home treatment. Prepare a solution of two cups white vinegar and three cups water. Pour the solution in a small basin and soak the infected toenail in this solution for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove your foot from the basin and allow it to air dry. Repeat the treatment twice a day for a period of three months. The treatment will effectively cure the existing infection and ensure that a new fungal infection does not take place. If you don’t see any improvement in the toenail after 15 days of the treatment then reduce the quantity of water in the solution and increase the quantity of vinegar.
4. Treatment using VapoRub
Use of VapoRubs for curing fungal toenail infections is also a popular remedy. VapoRubs are a combination of tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus oil, camphor etc and is mainly formulated to ward off cold, stuffy and running nose and blockage of chest as a result of cold.
To treat fungal toenail infection with VapoRub massage a small scoop of it on the infected toenail and wrap the toenail with medical gauze. This will ensure that the VapoRub does not dirty your socks, clothes or linen.
Leave the VapoRub on the skin for at least four hours and then clean it from the skin using warm water and anti-bacterial soap. Repeat the treatment at least twice a day for two months. After two months, use the VapoRub once a day for another couple of months.
5. Treatment using baking soda
Baking soda is used mainly for baking purposes. However, it is also used extensively to treat various skin problems. It can also be used for treating fungal toenail infection.
Prepare a paste of baking soda and water. Massage the paste on the infected toenail for 2-3 minutes and then leave it on the toenail for 15 minutes. Scrub the paste off the skin after 15 minutes. Don’t use water to clean. Dried baking soda will leave its acidic properties behind on the infected toenail.
6. Treatment using mouthwash
A survey revealed that many people use a strong mouthwash like Listerine to treat the fungal toenail infection at home. Mouthwash is a string solution that is used mainly to kill the bacteria in the mouth that cause halitosis (bad smell in the mouth).
Pour a cup of mouthwash in a small basin and soak the infected toenail in the mouthwash for 15 minutes. Remove the foot from the basin and allow it to air dry. You could also dip a cotton ball in the mouthwash and place it over the infection. Secure the cotton ball in place using a duct tape or medical tape. Leave for a couple of hours. Repeat treatment daily for a couple of months.
Photo Credit- Zetaclearnailfungusrelief.com