How to cure nail fungus fast at home is a keyword that attracts hundreds of thousands of individuals on google search bar daily. Nail fungus treatment at home is definitely possible.
Nonetheless, treating hand nail fungus or toe nail fungus on your own (without any expert assistance) depends entirely on the severity of the infection.
So, if your fungal infection has yet to ‘hit the roof’, you still have a great chance of treating it without paying a visit to the local dermatologist.
The correct approach to treating nail fungus infections is by learning more about the infection itself. So, we shall discuss all these aspects and the viable home treatments for curing nail fungal infection at home in this article.
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How to Cure Nail Fungus Fast at Home Article Contents:
1) What are the Main Causes behind Nail Fungus Infections?
2) What are the Best Foot Soaks for Treating Nail Fungus at Home?
3) What are the Best Essential Oils for Treating Nail Fungus at Home?
4) What are the Best Ayurveda Treatments for Curing Nail Fungus Infections at Home?
5) What is the Fastest Home Remedy for Toe Nail Fungus?
6) What are the Different Stages & Types of Nail Fungus Infection in Humans?
7) What Kills Toenail Fungus Instantly?
8) How to Know if My Nail Fungus is Actually Dying?
9) Home Nail Fungus Treatment Vs Professional Nail Fungus Treatment – Which is Better of the Two?
What are the Main Causes behind Nail Fungus Infections in Humans?
Nail fungus infections in human beings are quite common. They affect hundreds of millions of men, women and children worldwide annually. Over here, the nail is usually discolored and becomes brittle.
Yeast, fungi and dermatophyte are the main culprits behind this unfortunate infection. Molds too are to be blamed in a few cases. The infection usually starts from an athlete’s foot and magnifies into black colored nails. Sometimes, the color of the nail is yellow and even green.
The initial location of nail fungus is usually at the tip of the nail bed. It is in the form of a tiny yellow spot. This spot tends to expand encompassing the entire nail.
If left untreated, fungal infection may spread to other nails (in the hands and feet) as well.
Here are the main causes behind nail fungus infection in human beings:
@ Lack of hygiene is considered to be the leading cause behind these infections.
@ An athlete who has to wear shoes for prolonged time periods tends to get sweaty feet. This is a perfect environment for fungi to thrive.
@ Another favorite hotspot where fungi and bacteria are present is swimming pools. The same goes for gym floors.
@ Shoes made from poor quality material too are to be blamed.
@ If you wear the same socks with your shoes over and over again (without washing them first) then, bacterial and fungal infection tends to set in them. This transfers to your feet.
@ Beau’s lines, longitudinal melanonychia and paronychia are a few diseases of the nail that may lead to nail fungal infection.
@ Having a family history of nail fungal infections also passes down this unfortunate condition to the current generations.
@ If your immunity is compromised then again, such infections are common.
@ Those that have blood sugar issues tend to suffer from nail fungal infections.
What are the Best Foot Soaks for Treating Nail Fungus at Home?
Onychomycosis or toe nail fungus infection is easily contracted and takes a long time to heal. So, the pressing issue here is to make this infection go away ‘fast’.
While there are several ways to treat toe nail infection, there is no better way than curing it at home. If you can take care of this infection at home, you basically take the ‘sting’ out of tinea unguium.
Ironically once you have developed yeast or bacterial infection in the toenails, it can take as long as one and a half years for a complete healing.
So, it is best to ‘nip the evil in the bud’.
Here are the Best Foot Soaks for Treating Toe Nail Fungus at Home:
This is a natural disinfectant and an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal solution. Also known as hydrogen peroxide, this is an ideal way to treat fungal infections of both hand and feet.
Simply mix one portion of this powder to 10 parts of water. The water needs to be warm. For example, place 50 grams of hydrogen peroxide to 500 ml of warm water.
Once this is prepared, place your foot into this solution. After about 15 minutes, you may remove your feet from the water. Make sure to dry your feet using a clean towel.
Dihydrogen dioxide is also used for treating canker sores, acne, tooth infections, inflamed gums, disinfecting minor scrapes and removing wax from the ear canal. Basically, it is a disinfectant that is quite useful for treating bacterial and fungal infections.
Paste of Sodium Hydrogencarbonate:
Popularly known as Bicarbonate of soda, this popular kitchen chemical compound is an ideal way to heal nail fungus infections. You may make a thick paste of sodium bicarbonate by mixing it in some water.
This paste can be applied directly onto the infected nail. After about 15 minutes, rinse with warm water. Pat dry the nail and foot with a clean towel.
Tannic Acid Foot Soak:
Don’t get scared by the name. It is nothing but a simple tea soak. Your normal everyday tea granules (that are black in color) can come to your rescue. Even if you do not drink tea, you can easily procure it from a local grocery store.
Boil a few tablespoons of black tea is water for about 5 minutes. Place it into a tub and allow the water to cool a bit. Place your feet into the water and soak the infected nails for about 25 minutes. Pat dry with a clean towel after the soak is complete.
Magnesium Sulfate Foot Soak:
Foot soaks made from magnesium sulfate are really popular. These soaks have magnesium that tends to heal fungal infections of the nails. Magnesium is also known for its natural muscle relaxant properties.
You may take a cup of magnesium sulfate and mix it with 2 liters of warm water. Allow your feet or hands to soak in this solution for 15 minutes. Thereafter, pat dry the area with a clean towel.
Soaking Your Hand or Feet in Acetic Acid:
Popularly known as vinegar, this household kitchen item (especially in Chinese kitchens) is a natural anti-fungal agent. Soak a few capfuls of vinegar in about 2 liters of water.
Allow your feet to sit in that solution for about 15 minutes. Wash your feet with warm water and pat dry thereafter. Doing this daily shall significantly whiten your darkening toenails. This shall also speed up your natural healing process.
What are the Best Volatile Oils for Treating Nail Fungus at Home?
Oils that are extracted from plants are termed as volatile oils. This is owing to the volatile nature of chemicals present in these plants. These hydrophobic liquids are highly concentrated in nature.
As these oils offer a distinctive aroma, they tend to be a preferred inclusion in baths. Little do people know that these essential oils are also an ideal way to treat fungal and bacterial infection of the skin.
Here are some of the most popular ones used for treating nail fungus infections:
Manuka Tree Oil:
Derived from the Manauka plant in New Zealand, this oil has immense antimicrobial properties. The oil is essentially derived from the honey of Manuka tree.
This oil has natural skin healing properties. It tends to remove inflammation, infections, (fungal & bacterial), treat burns and soothes rough skin surfaces.
It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties that help treat nail fungus in humans. So, apply a few drops of Manuka tree oil (daily) directly onto your infected nails to get the best benefits.
This is a tea tree that is found in Australia. The leaves of this tree are steamed in order to extract the oil from within them. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Melaleuca oil is best suited for treating nail fungus infections. It kills the fungus and bacteria that is causing infections in the nail bed. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is a boon for the skin.
Melaleuca oil kills mold infection in nails. It is also used for killing ringworm infection. Yeast infection and sores are also cured via this concentrated essential oil.
Oil Derived from Clove:
Clove oil has been used for centuries to treat ailments of the digestive tract. It has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial properties. This is why clove oil is best suited for treating tooth aches and stomach aches.
Besides treating the aches and pains within the human body, clove oil is an ideal cure for toenail fungus. Apply a few drops of clove oil to the infected area and watch the fungus disappear. It may need a few months and daily application to make this change a reality.
Origanum vulgare Oil:
Thymol is an active ingredient in Origanum oil. This extract is an excellent way to treat and cure fungal infections of the nails. Thymol not only fights bacteria, it also stops fungal infections.
The application is fairly simple indeed. Just a few drops of Origanum Vulgare onto the affected nail are sufficient to get the job done. Doing this daily for a period of 6 months should get the job done.
The oil has antioxidant properties that assist in soothing the nail. It also helps in reducing the swelling in and around the affected area. The oil is also known for its antibiotic properties.
Salvia Sclarea Oil:
Another essential oil that is known for treating nail fungus infection is salvia sclarea oil. It reduces inflammation in the nail bed and also calms your nerves (by doubling up as a natural anti-depressant).
By increasing blood circulation and boosting your immunity, salvia sclarea oil is ideal for balancing the hormones. It is also suitable for aiding digestion and fighting skin cancer.
The 5 Oil Blend:
Yet another striking oil concoction that has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral property is a blend of 5 oils. The blend comprises of rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove and lemon.
Mix equal amounts of this oil into a glass jar. Then, place a few drops of this concoction onto the infected nail. Apply this for a few months regularly to see visible results.
Lavandula angustifolia Oil:
The oil distilled from Lavandula angustifolia is an ideal way to treat both toe nail as well as hand nail fungal infections. It has anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal properties.
Popularly known as lavender oil, this essential oil is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory as well. It is also antisposmadic in nature. The end result is that it not only kills fungal infection but also repairs the damaged nail.
Besides, lavender oil is also a boon for your mental health. It shall de-stress you and ensure that you sleep well at night. In fact, allergy and nausea is also treated via Lavandula angustifolia oil.
Citrus Aurantifolia Oil:
Popularly known as lime oil, Citrus Aurantifolia is a natural antibiotic and astringent. It is also a powerful antibiotic. Lime oil is also good for repairing damaged skin and tissues.
It aids in the regeneration of cells to enable the repair process of damaged nails. Applying a few drops of Citrus Aurantifolia oil onto the infected nail is an ideal way to treat the infection.
The application should be regular and performed for a few months.
Also known as Eucalyptus oil, Fevertree oil is vital for ensuring that your nail fungus is kept at bay. It has medicinal properties. It is widely used for cold, arthritis, ulcers of the skin, aromatherapies, asthma and removing ticks from the body.
Fevertree oil is also antifungal and antibacterial in nature. You can place a few drops of Eucalyptus oil onto a ball of cotton. Rub this cotton ball around your nails.
Doing so for a few weeks or a few months (depending on the gravity of your nail fungus infection) shall treat your infection from the root. The medicinal property of Eucalyptus oil shall also heal the skin and nail.
Cymbopogon oil is fortified with antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It is also a natural antioxidant and is stated to have immense anti-inflammatory properties.
Cymbopogon oil is widely used for treating digestive tract infections (such as ulcers and indigestion). Popularly known as lemongrass oil, a few drops of this oil should be applied daily onto the affected nail.
In a few months, your nail fungus infection should be completely cured. It may take up to a year or slightly more if the fungal infection in your nail is of a severe category.
Essential Oil Derived from the Bark of Cinnamon Tree:
Cinnamon oil contains cinnamaldehyde. This compound is antibacterial and anti fungal in nature. Cinnamon oil is great for diabetics as it stabilizes blood sugar level.
Place a few drops of concentrated cinnamon oil onto your infected nail. Allow it to dry and do not wash it with water. Follow this application procedure for a few months to derive the best possible results.
Lemon Skin Oil:
Last but not the least, the oil extracted from the skin of a lemon is fortified with immense health benefits. This oil has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. It is also a natural antiseptic. Lemon skin oil is an anti-inflammatory agent.
When lemon oil is applied to the infected nail (2 to 3 drops are sufficient), it fights and kills fungal infection. After a few weeks of regular application, you shall begin to see a dramatic change in your nail health.
What are the Best Ayurveda Treatments for Curing Nail Fungus Infections at Home?
Ayurveda claims that the root cause behind nail fungus infections is because of body doshas. The lack of balance in the body chakras is what leads to the development of brittle and pale nails.
Fungal infection happens when the initial sign of imbalance in the body chakras is ignored. Nail fungus (according to Ayurveda) is owing to two main reasons.
The first is imbalance within the body. This is inclusive of poor digestion, diabetes and issues with the intestinal tract. The second is owing to an injury to the nail, exposure of the nail to a harsh toxin etc.
Body Doshas and Nail Fungus Infection:
If you have strikingly white colored nails, it is a Kapha dosha. As per Ayurveda, it is a resultant of anemia.
Vata & Pitta Dosha:
If your nail is black in color then, it is a resultant of Vata dosha. Ayurveda also claims that Pitta may also be blamed for this. Ayurveda also claims that black nail fungus is an indicator to arthritis.
Pitta & Rakta Dosha:
If your nail fungus is reddish in color then it is Rakta or Pitta dosha. Ayurveda states that red colored nail fungus is an indicator to underlying cardiac diseases.
If your nail is yellow in color then, the Pitta dosha is to be blamed. Ayurveda also states that yellow nail fungus is an indicator to liver ailments. It could also be that you are suffering from hepatitis infection.
Rakta & Pitta Dosha:
If you are a diabetic then, your nails shall be blue in color. The blue fungal color arises owing to hepatitis infection. Even diabetics have been known to suffer from blue nail fungus.
Kapha & Pitta Dosha:
When the nail fungus is extremely yellow in color then, it is a result of Kapha and Pitta dosha. Bronchitis is what Ayurveda claims is the resultant of extremely yellow nails.
How does Ayurveda Confirm the Presence of Nail Fungus Infection?
@ Your nails shall become thick and brittle. In fact, Ayurveda clearly states that when debris starts to deposit in the nail bed, it is an indicator for fungal infection.
@ Spot and ridges on top of the nail is an indicator for the same. The spot is usually white in color.
@ The edges of the nail are broken. The color of the nail is red.
@ If the nail end is folding awkwardly then again, it is an indicator to a fungal infection.
@ The nail is emitting a foul smell. Also, the nail is awkward in appearance.
@ Nails are dotted with brown or white color.
Ayurveda Treatment for Nail Fungus Infection:
There are a few herbs that you can consume and pastes that you can apply, to treat toe nail fungal infection. Here is a quick look at a few of these:
Special Ayurveda Paste:
The first solution to treating nail fungal infections is via a special paste. It comprises of a teaspoon of neem oil, half teaspoon of clarified butter, half teaspoon of lime juice, turmeric, a teaspoon of cream and half a teaspoon of wild honey.
You need to make a paste from these ingredients. When the paste is ready, you need to apply it onto the infected nail/nails. This application should be rinsed with warm water after about 25 minutes. You can apply this paste twice every day.
Herbs for Treating Nail Fungus Infection:
It is a herbal concoction of three herbs namely Amalaki, Haritaki and Bibhitaki. It helps treat nail fungus infection and is a storehouse of Vitamin C.
@ Tinospora cordifolia:
The second herb that heals fungal infections of the nails is Tinospora cordifolia. The leaves as well as the root of this herb are useful. Even the root is not spared.
It improves immunity, fights gout, aids digestion, cures hepatitis, treats flu and is great for treating all kinds of skin ailments. Tinospora cordifolia also treats hay fever and has anti-inflammatory properties.
@ Indian Gooseberry:
Also known as amla, this fruit is fortified with Vitamin C. It heals infections and skin related issues (including nail fungal infections). Indian gooseberry is also known to nourish the brain. It is also a boon for the hair.
@ Acacia catechu:
This is yet another herb that kills fungal infection of the nails. It is by far the best herb to cure all types of skin ailments in human beings. Acacia catechu treats fever, controls bleeding, heals wounds, controls blood sugar levels and treats urinary tract infections.
@ Indian Lilac:
The Indian lilac has antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiseptic properties. It heals almost every known skin diseases in the world (including nail fungus).
Ailments of the liver and digestive tract are treated via this herb. It improved the functionality of kidney. Indian lilac is also used for maintaining optimal dental health.
Eczema, ulcers, ringworms and burns are also effectively treated via the aid of this herb. The fruit, seeds, leaves, stem and bark of Indian lilac is useful for treating skin ailments.
What is the Fastest Home Remedy for Toenail Fungus?
There is no fastest home remedy to treat toenail fungus. Nonetheless, you can opt for a combination of essential oils and anti-septic foot baths to achieve this aim.
Make no mistake that it shall take up to 1.5 years to treat nail fungus infections.
Here are the most effective quick fixes to get there fast:
Foot Soak made from Hydrogen Peroxide:
An ideal way to treat toenail fungus quickly is by dipping your infected nails in a solution made from hydrogen peroxide and water. 20 grams of hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with 2 liters of warm water.
Soak your foot in this bath for 20 minutes. Wipe dry with a clean towel. You can opt for this special anti-septic foot bath two times a day.
Foot Soak made from Essential Oils:
These are hydrophobic liquid that comprise of chemicals that can change their original composition at the drop of a hat. The volatile nature of these essential oils is what makes them a perfect healer of nail fungal infections.
The top essential oils that you may use directly onto your infected nail include tea tree, clove, lemongrass, cinnamon, wild oregano and clary sage. 2 to 3 drops of these oils onto the affected nail is sufficient to get the job done.
Rauvolfia serpentina Extract:
This is a special shrub that is known for its anti-fungal properties. It is primarily used for treating high blood pressure. Rauvolfia serpentina also assists in helping you to sleep peacefully at night.
It makes you confident and is ideal for treating various ailments of the mind. Interestingly, you can place a few drops of this shrub extract onto your infected toenail and watch the infection disappear.
Garlic Application on Nail Fungus:
Garlic is known for its antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. If you slice a few garlic buds and place them over your nail, the fungus shall die. I (LeanAndFit review staff) have seen this miracle remedy work wonders in many fungal infection cases.
The application of garlic buds should not exceed the 25 minute mark. So, perform this application once a day only. In a few weeks, you should start to see visible results.
What Kills Toenail Fungus Instantly?
While there is no instant cure for nail fungus infections, the fastest treatment is laser therapy. In this procedure, laser is used to literally burn away the fungus that is encompassing your toenail or fingernail.
The laser treatment may be expensive (a few hundred dollars per sitting) yet, the procedure is relatively successful. Your fungal infection is eradicated from the root.
It does take 2 or more sittings to get the job done. The expense increases with the total number of nails to be covered in the process. The more the number of nails, the higher shall be the cost and vice versa.
Facts on Laser Treatment for Treating Toenail & Fingernail Fungus:
@ It can take up to 5 months for the nails of the fingers to re-appear. This is post the laser procedure.
@ In case your toenails have been treated via laser treatment then, the new nails shall take 1.5 years to re-grow completely.
@ A single laser session should be complete in about 25 to 30 minutes.
@ You need to maintain a gap of 2 months between two successive laser treatments.
@ There is almost no pain during the laser treatment. You might feel uncomfortable though but not to the extent of ‘flipping out’.
@ You would need to make use of topical ointments along with the laser treatment to get the best results.
@ If the nail infection is severe then, numerous sessions may be required to treat it. It may take 1.5 years or even 2 years to treat the infection completely.
Type of Lasers Used and their Results:
@ You can make use of light based lasers to treat nail fungus infections.
@ Some dermatologists also use carbon dioxide based lasers to treat this infection.
@ Yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser is also used. The wavelengths used for the same include 1320 nm and 870 nm. In certain cases, Yttrium-aluminium-garnet laser also uses 930 nm (wavelength) to meet its goal to treat nail fungus infections.
The Result of Laser Treatment:
The result of all the above lasers is effective. The heat emitted by these lasers breaks down the tissue and nail. The fungus as well as the nail is therefore broken down completely.
The infection tends to turn into gasses and is removed by the dermatologist. The heat emitted from the laser disinfects the area and inhibits further infection.
In just 4 months, your fungal infection is removed. In certain cases, it may take longer. Nonetheless, the growth of new nails takes anywhere from 6 months to 1.5 years.
How does the Laser Nail Fungus Treatment Take Place?
@ A dermatologist first assesses the extent of your fungal infection.
@ Your nails are clipped and all the dead cells/skin/dirt removed from the area.
@ The infected nail/nails are cleansed with a disinfectant. Then, laser is diverted towards them.
@ The wavelengths are reduced or increased by the specialist so as to avoid directing excessive heat towards the nail. This avoids injury.
@ A single laser session lasts 25 to 35 minutes. Bleeding may occur during the treatment. This is temporary and not at all discomforting in nature.
What are the Different Stages & Types of Nail Fungus Infection in Humans?
Onychomycosis or toenail fungus tends to affect hundreds of millions of people globally. It is a common nail infection that is often ignored (until it is far too late). When it becomes chronic, it makes life a living hell.
A small cut in the nail can dispatch an army of fungi to the nail bed. Tissues surrounding the nail can also be affected adversely. Nails adjoining the one that is infected are also stricken with fungi.
So, this chain reaction needs to be stopped.
The Three Types of Fungal Infections of the Nail:
Nail Fungus Caused by Yeast:
In this infection, your nail gets infected with fungus that belongs to the candida variety. This fungus tends to infect the gastrointestinal tract of a human being.
In fact, the mucus membranes are also affected by candida. So, your nail may have been infected candida without you even knowing of it (until it is too late).
Nail Fungus Caused by Dermatophytes:
Dermatophytes fungal infection is the second in line. This fungus tends to infect the nail by working underneath it. Sometimes, dermatophytes start to infect the nail from the surface itself.
With almost 41 known species, dermatophytes fungi are really hard to detect. Nonetheless, a health expert in this field shall definitely catch it right before it starts to reproduce.
Nail Fungus Caused by Hyphomycetes:
With 999 variants under its belt, the Hyphomycetes fungi are a force to reckon with. They infect the nail in their own unique manner. This uniqueness is displayed in the numerous white dots that they leave behind on top of the nail.
This fungi starts with a small white spot. It is positioned on top of your nail. Soon, the spot turns into many more before covering the entire nail in its own spotting spree.
What are the Three Steps to Your Toe Nail Infection?
Step # 1:
The first sign of toenail infection is always on the sides. Sometimes, you can detect it on top of the nail. At the tip of the nail too you may witness the fungus infection.
The color of the infected nail could either be pale yellow or brown. The change in color is ever so slight. This in turn makes it almost impossible for the human eye to detect this infection.
Step # 2:
When your nail starts to get brittle and thicken in size then, it is a clear indicator that the fungal infection has reached the second stage. The nail shall start to ache.
It is quite possible that you may have a tough time donning a pair of shoes. The nail may start to chip as it has turned way too brittle.
Step # 3:
In the last and final stage of fungal nail infection, your nail shall begin to slide off the bed. Over here, it is quite possible that you may not be able to wear your shoe.
This is because the infected nail shall rub against your shoe and hurt. The color of the nail shall turn bright yellow or black. This is when the infection starts to spread to other nails.
How to know if My Nail Fungus is Actually Dying?
Nail fungal infections take anywhere in between six months to one and a half year to fully disappear. This is owing to the complex process involving the complete re-growth of a damaged nail.
So, how do you come to know whether your chosen treatment is really working or not? Well, here are a few tell-tale signs to watch out for:
The First Stage of Progress:
The first sign that your nail is indeed being transformed for the better is with special regards to its color orientation. Simply put, the deep yellow or brown color shall start to fade ever so slowly.
The Second Stage of Progress:
The second signs that your treatment is working is with regards to the nail becoming slimmer. The once thick and brittle nail shall start to slim down.
The Third Stage of Progress:
In the last and final stage of healing, the old nail shall start to push itself outwards. The push shall be initiated via the new nail. It shall push the old and infected nail outwards. Within months, the old nail shall be broken down and replaced with a new one.
Home Nail Fungus Treatment Vs Professional Nail Fungus Treatment – Which is Better of the Two?
Nail fungal infection is an unfortunate and an unexpected trauma that most of us have to undergo. This infection is so easy to catch that you do not really have to try too hard (pun intended).
As far as treating nail fungus is concerned then, there is no single treatment methodology. We can however divide the treatments into two broad categories.
The first is holistic while the other is mainstream medication. Natural methods to treat nail fungus have been discussed in great detail in this article. The mainstream medications include laser therapy, over the counter tablets and topical ointments.
So, which method is better and why?
Well, in my personal opinion, natural methods to treat nail fungus are far better. This is because they are effective and are free from adverse side effects.
Home based nail fungus treatment is also cheaper. Moreover, you do not really have to be an expert to execute them. On the flip-side, they may take a wee bit longer to remove and cure fungal infection.
Traditional methods to treat nail fungus infections offer speedier cure. This is especially true with regards to laser therapy. Nonetheless, the side effects attached to these methods are rather high.
Ironically, the nail shall re-grow in 5 to 19 months (regardless of the chosen treatment method). So, it is best to opt for home based treatments to cure and treat nail fungus infections.