Feet are the wheels that allow the body-vehicle to travel. But when these wheels are compromised by an infection like toenail fungus, the journey can become slow, smelly, and even painful.
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is simply a fungal infection caused by spores – microscopic reproductive units – that get into the nail in order to grow. The fungi that cause the condition are found in moist environments that invite shoeless traffic, like swimming pools, locker rooms and showers.
How is toenail fungus spotted?
Toenail fungus takes the form of a whitish-yellowish speck that appears underneath the toenail. In a short amount of time, the growth can completely deform and destroy the nail, leaving a dried-up, discolored, hollowed-out piece of skin.
How is toenail fungus treated at home?
- Foot bath: Foot baths are the best and least expensive way of dealing with nail fungus. Using one-part vinegar and one-part water, fill a basin/bath to the anklebone. Soak feet for 20-30 minutes, twice a day. Vinegar is a mild acidic that will kill the fungus without harming the skin or nail.
- Mouthwash foot wrap: Soak a small hand towel in an antiseptic mouthwash-water solution for a few minutes so the entire fabric can become saturated. The solution should consist of one-part mouthwash and one-part water. Now, wrap the affected foot with the towel. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Once the wrap is removed, dry the foot completely and apply a moisturizing lotion. Do this once a day. Antiseptic mouthwashes contain bacteria-fighting chemicals that are effective at killing fungi, but can also dry out the skin.
- Tea tree oil cotton ball: For those that are on the move, a tea tree oil cotton ball may be the best remedy. Soak a standard cotton ball in tea tree oil, an aromatic essential oil native to Australia, and then lay it on the nail. Then, wrap a gauze or adhesive bandage around the cotton balled-toe for 30-60 minutes and continue on with the day. This is an ideal option for those that have to go to work or attend school.
Vigilance is the first line of defense against toenail fungus. Fungus is, literally, a living, breathing thing. To stop this organism in its tracks, action must be taken as soon as it is spotted. And because it is alive, toenail fungus can come back at any time. Treatment must be administered regularly. Use any of these simple, inexpensive home cures to successfully defeat this foot foe and continue onward..