Although there are numerous prescription and over the counter treatments available for fingernail fungus, many people prefer home remedies because they are more convenient and cost effective. Home remedies do not usually have the unpleasant side effects that are sometimes associated with prescription or over the counter fungus medications.
Some of the common home remedies for nail fungus include: Bleach: Soak the nails for about 30 minutes in a solution of bleach along with Listerine mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide. This home remedy soak should be diluted with water. The soak should be performed daily until the fungus is gone and the nail begins to look healthy. Vick’s Vaporub: This may sound strange but it has actually been beneficial in treating nail fungus. This home remedy is especially helpful if it is mixed with essential oils, like tea tree oil. This treatment must be performed daily. Vinegar: Vinegar is of the most popular home remedies that is used to treat nail fungus infections. The acidity of the vinegar relieves the itchiness and restores the essential PH balance that is necessary to combat fungi. Vinegar is acid and toenail fungus does not like acidic environments. Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used. Some people use the vinegar as a foot soak and others apply it directly to the base of the affected nail. Apple cider vinegar can reduce the inflammation and the pain that is associated with fungal infections. Sometimes vinegar is combined with hydrogen peroxide as a home cure. Some people ingest two tablespoons of vinegar per day to fight nail fungus infections. Although vinegar is not pleasant to taste it is not toxic so it can be ingested safely. Tea Tree oil: Tea tree and oregano essential oils are effective for some people. These oils, which have a deep penetrating power, are applied topically and have the potential to reach deep into the nail bed to help kill the fungus. Do not use tea tree oil if you are using prescription medications for your nail fungus. Many home remedies can be dangerous if combined with prescription medications.
Along with home remedies, some holistic practitioners believe that dietary changes can positively affect the health of the nail. Some recommend reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing the amount of protein in the diet. Some people find that their symptoms improve when they eat yogurt daily or take acidophilus capsules. Garlic capsules may help boost the immune’s system’s ability to fight off nail infections. Food supplements containing vitamins B, C, D and E are also recommended. Be sure to monitor the amount you are taking because some vitamins can be toxic if ingested in excessive amounts.
If your infection persists after the use of home remedies, you should see your doctor.
Glossary: Tea tree oil: an essential oil that is sometimes used to treat nail fungus Toxic: harmful or poisonous
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