The human body is the perfect breeding ground for a wide variety of fungi and bacteria. Unknown to most people, a fungal infection occurs only when these minute organisms present in the body start to overgrow. One such fungal infection that commonly affects the finger and toe nails of an individual is the fungal nail infection, most commonly known as the Onychomycosis. Like most other fungal infections, this ailment also takes a long time to develop and hence the difference it causes in the feel and appearance of the infected nails is not appearing too soon.
Getting Familiar With The Symptoms
Although nail infection caused by fungus generally starts from a single nail, it can affect several other nails if not treated in a timely manner. In order to do so, it is important for an individual to be able to first identify the symptoms of such an infection. Listed below are the most common symptoms that people might experience on getting inflicted with a fungal toenail.
- Appearance of scaling under the nail
- Appearance of white or yellow streaks on the nail
- Crumbling of the corner or tip of the nail
- Flaking white areas on the surface of the nail which might lead to creation of pits
- Appearance of yellow spots at the bottom of the nail
- Distortion of the nail caused by its being lifted off from the nail bed
- Odor emanating from the toe nail fungus
An individual might experience only some of the above symptoms or even all of them depending upon the type and extent of the infection.
Causes Of Fungal Nail Infection
As mentioned before, fungal infections, especially toenail fungus infection is caused due to the overgrowth of fungi on, in or under the nail of an individual. This infection is caused by the same fungi, which is responsible for other skin ailments such as jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm. These infections are generally caused when people overexpose their nails to warm and moist environments that result in the natural overpopulation of fungi and hence lead to infections. In many cases, people might catch the ailment when their nails come in contact with the infected toe of other individual and the fungi are transferred to their nails. Getting foot and hand massages or treatments with tools that have not been properly disinfected can also lead to the occurrence of fungal nail infection.
Who Run The Risk Of Being Infected
The risk of occurrence of nail infection caused by a fungus is higher is some people as compared to the others. These primarily include the following.
- People suffering from diabetes or disease that cause poor blood circulation
- People having a nail injury or a skin injury around the nail
- People wearing artificial nails or closed-toe shoes for an extended period of time
- People who often swim in public swimming pools
- People above the age of 65 and those who keep their nails moist for too long in a humid environment
Home Remedies To Cure Nail Infection
Having learned about the various aspects of fungal toenail infection, it is time to take a look at the various methods to cure it. While there are several allopathic medicines and treatments available for complete finger, feet and toenail fungus removal, they might have some serious side effects. That is why opting for the time tested home remedies to cure the infection is the preferred choice of most people suffering from this ailment.
The most common and effective home remedies for nail fungus cure are listed below.
- Tea tree oil proves to be an effective cure for nail fungus infection thanks to its anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It should be applied directly to the infected nail in a manner that the nail and the skin can soak in it for at least 10 min. Apply every day to get the best and fastest results.
- Baking soda helps in absorbing the excessive moisture in the infected area which helps to naturally destroy the fungus. Applying a paste of baking soda and water over the infected area and leaving it to dry for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off, will provide the desired results.
- The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to restore the pH balance of the skin and destroy the infection causing fungi. The infected area should be soaked in a mixture comprising of vinegar and water in equal parts for no less than 30 minutes, to kill all the fungus and bacteria and also prevent the infection from spreading.
- The antifungal properties of garlic make it the perfect choice for nail fungus treatment in an effective manner. Applying a paste of crushed garlic mixed with white vinegar on and around the infected area and then covering the area with a bandage for at least a few hours will help eradicate the infection.