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6 Ways to Holistically Treat Toenail Fungus

Dr. Eman Elmi
January 7, 2024
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Toenail fungus is an unpleasant problem that can be difficult to deal with. This problem, though, has led to many proposed holistic treatment solutions. Here are six ways to try to get your toenail fungus under control.

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus: A Breakdown

Firstly, there are many components to how to get rid of toenail fungus. Interestingly, it doesn’t need to begin with a trip to your healthcare provider. Frequently, self-care and nonprescription products can clear up the infection. 

Moreover, treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the fungus causing it. It’s important to note that results can take months to appear, and repeat infections are quite common.

Understanding Types of Toenail Fungus

There are a range of different fungal strains that can thrive under toenails. Three common prevailing types of toenail fungus include subungual, white superficial, and candida. Let’s take a closer look.

Subungual Nail Fungus

Subungual (or under-the-nail) fungi are the most common type of toenail fungi. Of these, the species Trichophyton rubrum is the most common variety. It usually affects the sides or tips of the nail first but can also spread from the base. This can lead to lifting of the nail, discoloration, and crumbling.

White Superficial Toenail Fungus

White superficial toenail fungus is caused by a fungal variety that invades the toenail’s top layer. It causes pitting and white, well-defined flaky patches. These patches eventually become rough, soft, and crumbly. The fungus Trichophyton mentagrophytes most commonly causes it.

Candida Toenail Fungus

Candida (or yeast) toenail fungal infections are most common in people with chronic yeast infection problems. They can also spread due to frequently wet feet, chronic immune conditions, or immunosuppression. Moreover, it’s widespread among agricultural workers due to frequent work in wet environments around animal waste. 

Candida infections lead to rough nails with pronounced ridges and a breakdown of the nail surface. Infections on the soft tissue of the nail begin suddenly and, unfortunately, may worsen quickly. These lead, less often, to opalescent and pitted nails.

Toenail Fungus Treatment: 6 Effective Solutions

While it can be a persistent problem, many over-the-counter remedies can treat toenail fungus. Here are six of the most effective holistic toenail fungus treatment methods to try treating your fungus at home.

1. Listerine (Original Flavor)

Getting the original gold-colored flavor of Listerine is key here. This is because it contains thymol, which has anti-fungal properties. You will also want to buy a large volume, possibly in bulk, because you’ll be soaking your feet in it. 

Soak your feet fully submerged in the Listerine between two to four times a week at minimum.

2. Vicks VapoRub

In addition to thymol, Vicks VapoRub contains menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil. All of these compounds also can help reduce nail fungus. 

To use, apply it on a cotton swab and work it under the nail while wearing a sock over it to keep it in place. Repeat this at least three to four times a week. However, it’s safe for daily use.

3. Nail Trimming

At the risk of stating the obvious: the longer your nails are, the more area there is for toenail fungus to grow. Regular nail trimmings help treat nail fungus and keep it from returning, especially when combined with other methods.

Before trimming, soak your nails for about 10 minutes in warm water to soften them. Make small clips with nail clippers and cut straight across. Also, don’t forget to sanitize clippers or any other tools to prevent the fungus from spreading to your other toenails. For the same reason, other household members should use their own set of nail tools.

4. Ozonized Sunflower Oil

A September 2022 review in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology found ozonized sunflower oil an effective nail fungus treatment. Exposure to ozone has given the sunflower oil a thick, almost petroleum jelly-like, consistency. 

To use it, apply it on the nail twice daily for up to three months.

5. Tea Tree Oil

While more commonly seen as a holistic acne treatment, tea tree oil also shows potential as an antifungal treatment. The drying and sterilizing effects of tea tree oil that make it an effective antibacterial are also hated by fungi.

You should not apply undiluted tea tree oil to your skin. Instead, dilute it in a carrier oil or purchase tea tree oil cream. Apply it to the infected toes two to three times a day.

6. Kerasal

Kerasal is an over-the-counter nail lacquer. It doesn’t specifically target the fungus but can improve damaged appearance. It’s made with urea, glycerin, lactic acid, and other ingredients that can keep the nail dry. In conjunction with some of the treatment methods above, it could help your nails look better, too.

Apply a thin layer in the morning and night to infected nails for at least a week. After that, apply at least once nightly for at least eight weeks. It may take three to six months to see results.

Treat Your Toenail Fungus at Diablo Foot and Ankle

Holistic treatments like these are a strong response against toenail fungus, but thankfully, they are not the last or only ones. If your toenail fungus worsens or intensifies despite home treatments, visit your healthcare provider for more options and support. 

Diablo Foot and Ankle is here to support patients through any foot-related health problems they might have, including toenail fungus. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer any other questions you might have about effective nail fungus treatment. Call or schedule your consultation today for more information.

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