Black Toenail Fungus Treatment: 9 Simple Home Remedies
Runners’ feet have a tough job. They’re always getting laced up, warmed up and even beaten up! The result can be a black toenail. This striking symptom can actually be caused by different factors. It can sometimes be mistaken for an injury but it’s actually caused by black toenail fungus.
In some cases, black toenail fungus is painless. But what people find alarming is its problematic appearance.
The good news is you do not need to worry too much about black toenails: this condition is treatable. This article will share safe and easy home remedies for black toenail fungus.
Causes of Black Toenail Fungus
People who walk barefoot are more likely to get fungal infections, as their feet are directly exposed to pathogens in the environment on a regular basis.
It’s also common in runners and those whose feet tend to sweat excessively, as this creates the kind of warm, humid environment that fungus thrives in.
Black toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis, an infection caused by microscopic fungal spores.
In the medical field, these spores are called dermatophytes, which thrive under the toenails.
The fungus carries away the keratin, making the entire toenail black and smelly.
If the toenail section is regularly exposed to a warm and humid environment, it becomes a prospective area for the development of black toenail fungus. A fungus-friendly environment likely exists due to:
A Fungal Toenail Infection May Cause:
While these symptoms may appear to be minor, they actually require immediate medical attention. These inital symptoms may indicate or develop into to more serious health issues.
Black Toenail Fungus Assessment
Before we discuss the treatments, take note of the following first:
Black Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
In general, simply having good personal hygiene and applying a few home treatments will be enough to solve the problem.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that can help kill the fungus in the toenail. It is considered to be the best onychomycosis treatment.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent remedy for getting rid of black toenail fungus. It is a mild acid that extirpates fungal growth.
3. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is a natural antibiotic that can help treat black toenails quickly and efficiently.
4. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent treatment for black toenail fungus, as this chemical compound has antiseptic, disinfectant, and antifungal properties
Soaking your affected nail in a mild hydrogen peroxide solution can, therefore, be very effective for eliminating toenail fungus.
6. AHA Cream
Some creams contain alphahydroxyacid, which is great in countering fungal growth. It will smoothen rough skin and prevent fungi spores from thriving.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural fungicide, making it a highly effective treatment for black toenail fungus. It’s antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties help to kill off the pathogens causing the infection, whilst also reducing swelling and discomfort in the affected toes.
Coconut oil is also an excellent moisturizer, which can help to soften and nourish toenails, encouraging repair and strong regrowth of the affected nails.
Apply a small quantity of organic, vegan coconut oil to your infected toenails, and gently massage for a few minutes before leaving to dry naturally. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times daily until your infection has cleared.
8. Lemon Juice
The high concentration of citric acid in lemon juice is what makes it an excellent remedy for toenail fungus, as it has strong antifungal and antiseptic properties. This can help to prevent the spread of infection, whilst killing off the microbes that are causing it.
Apply fresh lemon juice directly to the infected toenail, leaving it on for half and hour before washing the affected nail in clean water. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times daily, until the infection has gone.
Alternatively, combine equal quantities of lemon juice and olive oil to create an ointment that you can massage into the affected toenail. This helps to not only clear the infection, but also softens the surrounding skin and nail, encouraging strong and healthy growth.
9. Reduce Sweating
Excessive sweating can exacerbate a toenail infection, as fungus thrives in warm, damp environments.
Avoiding wearing tight fitting shoes and socks can, therefore, help to eliminate toenail fungus, as this allows your feet to breathe and makes conditions inside your shoe less optimal for the microbe to live in.
Choose natural cotton socks for a breathable fabric that helps your feet to stay dry, as this will help to prevent the infection from spreading or worsening.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
While it's good to know the different ways to treat black toenail fungus, it's more important to prevent it in the first place. The key here is to have good personal hygiene.
Best practices include:
Without that cleanliness, these home treatments will not be as effective. The fungus may keep returning.
Remember, seek medical attention if the condition persists and home remedies are not working. If the situation gets worse, you could lose your toenail.
Happy, healthy feet make a happy, healthy runner. Fungal infections will keep you on your toes, but good hygiene, home remedies and appropriate medical attention will make sure you stay on the right track.