Toenail fungus which is known as onychomycosis is the type of fungal infection which occurs due to the dermatophytes begin to grow under the nail. It begins as a white or yellow patch on the nails which can spread quickly to depth, later causing discoloration and crumbling. This is often a chronic problem and it can easily spread to other nails through the skin between the toes.
Lack of personal hygiene, wearing socks and shoes for long periods of time, sharing shoes with an infected person, walking barefoot in public swimming pools or a shower, not drying your feet completely after taking a bath, or Weakened immune systems are some of the main factors that can contribute to nail fungus.
Nail fungus is a problem that you can easily treat with simple and easy remedies, which will control the infection and prevent further damage. It’s very unsightly, so it’s best to treat it as soon as it appears. No need to rush to the doctor right away, because there are natural methods to put an end to the yeast infection.
What is Toenail Fungus, Exactly?
Nail fungus or onychomycosis (onycho meaning toenail in Greek) are infections caused by a microscopic fungus (dermatophyte), a yeast (candida albicans, for the hands), a mold. The nail fungus or onychomycosis ( onycho nail meaning in Greek) are infections caused by a fungus (dermatophyte), yeast ( Candida albicans, hand), a mold. They affect the toenails of the feet more often than those of the hands and usually occur in adults. The onychomycosis represents more than half of the disorders affecting the nails.
Different symptoms can reveal a yeast infection:
- A partial or total color change of the nail, which becomes opaque, whitish, yellowish, or greenish
- A thickening or changes in texture (the nail becomes brittle)
- A detachment of the nail plate
So, what Causes Toenail Fungus?
Onychomycosis is most often caused by dermatophyte fungi, more rarely by yeasts or molds. Germs have in common to like hot and humid places.
- A fungal nail infection caused by dermatophytes usually follows a fungus foot (known as the athlete’s foot) , incurred on public land infected by fragments of skin filed by patients. This is particularly the case in swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, sports locker rooms, medical offices, dance halls … After several months, untreated athlete’s foot spreads to the skin. nail and causes onychomycosis.
- Yeasts can also be the cause of onychomycosis in the fingernails. These fungi proliferate under the fingernails of people too often in contact with water.
- Mold contamination can occur from contact with contaminated soil.
Risk Factors for Nail Fungus:
Rare in children, onychomycosis is however very common in adults, reaching approximately 1 in 10 adults. Its prevalence increases with age, reaching 30% in those over 70 years of age. Onychomycosis affects three times more men than women. If it is due to contamination by certain germs, different factors can however favor this infection:
- Certain diseases (diabetes, HIV infection, AIDS, circulation disorders, skin diseases, etc.) and treatments (immunosuppressive treatments, chemotherapy, cortisone, etc.);
- Toes that overlap or stand up, blows or bruises caused by sports activities or poorly fitted shoes;
- Wearing poorly ventilated shoes, occupations and / or activities requiring frequent contact with water;
- Aging ;
Symptoms of Onychomycosis:
Onychomycosis caused by fungus preferentially manifest to foot, and specifically at the corner of the big toenail.
The symptoms are:
- Nail thickened, protruding and yellowish;
- A whitish and contagious powder appears when scratching under the nail;
- The appearance of white spots on the surface of the nail;
- Appearance, much more rarely, of black spots (which require the advice of a specialist).
When caused by yeasts, onychomycosis mostly affects fingernails. The symptoms are then more or less the same, namely:
- A detachment of the nail in which a yellowish-white coating forms;
- Swollen, red, painful skin around the nail;
- Superinfection with bacteria can lead to the appearance of a green pigment giving a musty appearance to the nail.
- These same symptoms characterize onychomycosis caused by molds.
Diagnosis of Nail Fungus:
The diagnosis of onychomycosis is based on a mycological examination, a prerequisite to rule out other nail diseases. Unpleasant without being painful, the mycological sample requires cutting the detached nail as far as possible and scraping the powdery debris.
If the symptoms of onychomycosis are the white spots on the surface of the nail, the doctor will scrape the nail off for analysis. Few laboratories are specialized in the collection and analysis of nails, so the results are relatively slow to obtain (around 1 month).
Medical Treatments for Nail Fungus:
The treatment of onychomycosis can combine local treatments to general treatments depending on the severity and extent of the infection.
- For the beginning forms of onychomycosis, the application of an antifungal cream or a treatment varnish for two to six months is enough to overcome the onychomycosis.
- Sometimes the diseased nail has to be removed with the help of a paste applied every day and covered with a bandage. The nail thus treated disintegrates at the end of the treatment which lasts between two and four weeks; if it is not completely destroyed, the doctor will have to cut it out with special pliers. Antifungal cream or a treating varnish completes this treatment.
- In case of failure, or for moldy onychomycosis, surgical removal of the nail is essential.
- The advanced forms, on the other hand, require general treatment. Lasting from two to six months, it is taken orally and can cause side effects which are generally mild (digestive disorders, redness), but sometimes more serious (hypersensitivity, skin rash, blood abnormalities, etc.).
Here are the Top 10 Most Effective and Best Home Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus:
1.Essential Tea Tree Oil:
Thanks to its antifungal and antiseptic action, tea tree essential oil is favored for cleaning up skin tissue and for treating nail fungus. It can be used on the skin without risk since it is non-toxic. In order to benefit from its benefits, pour a tablespoon of cider vinegar, sea salt, and 3 drops of tea tree oil into a basin of hot water, and bath your hands or feet altogether. days.
2.Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil, thanks to its antiseptic properties, can fight very well and prevent all skin irritations such as nail fungus. For the remedy, take in equal quantity the essential oil of tea tree and lavender, mix, and reheat. With a cotton ball, apply the solution to the nail and around the affected area 2 to 3 times a day. Do this before going to bed, and cover the areas to be treated with a thick cloth to increase its effectiveness.
3. Oregano Oil:
Oregano oil, produced by the extraction and steam distillation of oregano, is known to overcome nail fungus. To do this, apply 2 drops of this oil to the affected nail 3 times a day, and this for 2 to 3 months. If you are able to follow this treatment, you will find normal and healthy nails. Of course, it is not immediate, but it is very effective.
Olive leaves are natural antibiotics and are excellent for getting rid of nail fungus, as the olive tree is known to treat fungal problems. It has a double-action, because it destroys the fungus, but also kills bacteria and parasites in the body
5.Apple Cider Vinegar:
Thanks to its acidity, apple cider vinegar has a drastic effect on fungi, but it can also easily remove dead skin. To do the treatment, put a glass of apple cider vinegar in a container filled with water, and soak your hands or feet in it for about 20 minutes. It is necessary to dry well even if it means using a hairdryer to completely remove the humidity. This treatment to be done every day.
Lemon has antiseptic and antifungal properties, it is very well suited to treat yeast infection. The citric acid in lemon helps prevent the spread of infection. To do this, take lemon juice, and apply it directly to the affected part. Let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing it off with hot water. The treatment should be done every day for a month to have positive results. Alternatively, it is also possible to mix lemon juice with olive oil to massage the infected area. Olive oil will soften the skin, while lemon will control the fungal infection.
Baking soda is known for its many benefits, and it is very effective in treating nail fungus naturally. For the treatment, you will need to apply a paste of baking soda to the affected nail and hold the remedy for a few minutes before rinsing and drying. For quick results, do not hesitate to do the treatment twice a day.
Garlic is renowned for its antimicrobial and antibiotic action. It helps in the elimination of germs and fungal infections to prevent infections. To use, crush 10 cloves of garlic to obtain a paste then, pour it into a basin of hot water, and let stand a few minutes. Then soak your hands or feet in it for 15 minutes. Otherwise, you can also mix the garlic paste with olive oil and apply immediately to the nail affected by the fungus, leaving it to act for 30 minutes.
Cultivation of active bacteria known as probiotics helps treat infections caused by yeast infections quickly. For the remedy, take plain yogurt, and apply on the diseased nail. Wait for it to dry before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. The treatment also requires the consumption of yogurt daily, in the morning or in the evening.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids which work as natural fungicides to effectively kill the fungus responsible for the nail infection.
- Take some extra virgin coconut oil and rub it gently on the affected nail.
- Let absorb and dry naturally.
- Repeat two or three times a day until the infection heals.
- Mix five parts of coconut oil and one part of oregano oil.
- Massage a little of the solution on the infected nail.
- Leave on for 10 minutes. Then rinse off with lukewarm water and dry thoroughly.
- Do this twice a day for at least four weeks.
How to Prevent Recurrence of Onychomycosis?
Like any yeast infection, onychomycosis is an infection that recurs frequently.
Tips for Preventing Dermatophyte Onychomycosis:
- Strict foot hygiene is essential, especially in people who sweat a lot in the extremities.
- Sports shoes should be reserved for sports activities and ventilated regularly. The rest of the time, it is better for them to prefer shoes with a leather insole.
- Cotton socks should also be preferred over synthetic socks, which do not absorb sweat well.
- In case of excessive sweating, there are antiperspirants in powder or spray form.
For All Types of Nail Fungus, Dermatologists also Recommend:
- To have their nails cut short;
- to dry your feet well after coming out of the bath or the shower, emphasizing the interdigital spaces;
- Not to lend or borrow towels;
- To decontaminate his shoes and slippers using powders or antifungal lotions.
The appearance of a crack or cut between the toes, a characteristic symptom of athlete’s foot, is a warning signal for onychomycosis.
Yeast Onychomycosis can be Prevented:
- By wearing rubber gloves during activities requiring hand contact with water;
- By less frequent hand washing.