3 Simple Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus

Nail fungus; be it on your toenails or your fingernails is an unpleasant business to have to deal with. Officially known as onychomcosis, it is most often caused by moisture trapped in a warm dark place (because of shoes, this is why it more commonly effects toenails) which is the environment fungus thrives in. In some cases it can be caused by mold, or yeast, but it’s still collectively called nail fungus-nail mold or nail yeast just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

3 Simple Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus- get rid of your toenail fungus at home.

What Does It Look Like?

Generally a nail fungal infection will start off as a white or yellow spot on the tip of the nail. As it begins to develop, the nail may become thickened, brittle/crumbly/ragged, change shape, become darker in color, or get dull. If the nail starts to separate from the nail bed, it is called onycholysis, which can be quite uncomfortable. Without treatment, toenail fungus can go on indefinitely. Even with treatment, it can occur on and off.


1. Tea Tree/Orange Oil Rub

Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, possessing fungicidal and anti-bacterial properties that make it popular in treating toenail fungus. Orange oil has also shown promising results when it comes to getting rid of fungus, and can be added to the mixture as well. Always remember to dilute the essential oil before applying to the nail.

You will need…

-1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
-1/2 teaspoon of orange oil (optional)
-1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil
-Cotton balls

essential oils and grapeseed oil

Directions

As soon as you notice the tell-tale signs of nail fungus, mix together 1 of tea tree oil, ½ teaspoon of orange oil, and ½ teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply to affected nail pressing it on gently but firmly so the liquid comes out. Let this dry naturally. Alternatively, you can place 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in enough water to soak your feet in, and do that for 15-20 minutes. Both treatments should be done faithfully morning and evening.

essential oils and nail fungus

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar Soak

Baking soda is not fungicidal-that is, it does not kill the fungus. It is, however, fungistatic, which means it can prevent fungus from growing and spreading. The reason it acts like this is because it is alkaline-the opposite of acidic-and fungus is able to flourish when its environment is more acidic. It seems counter-intuitive then, that using vinegar to kill nail fungus would be a good idea, but vinegar is a fairly weak acid, and will help kill off the fungus without altering the Ph. of the environment in a harmful way.

You will need….

-4-5 tablespoons of baking soda
-1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
-Water
-Something to soak your feet in
-Paper towels

apple cider vinegar and baking soda

Directions

First, mix 1 cup of your chosen vinegar with enough water to soak your feet in. Soak for 15 minutes, and then pat dry with paper towels. Follow this by adding several tablespoons of baking soda to enough water to soak your feet in, and soak for 15 minutes. Pat feet completely dry with paper towels. Do this twice a day. The idea is that the vinegar will kill off the fungus, while the baking soda will then inhibit the growth of more.

apple cider vinegar soak

3. Just Coconut Oil

Bear with me-I am about to get a little bit scientific here, but I find this to be an exciting way to combat fungus without using harsh chemicals. Medium chain fatty acids are almost miracles in how they work as natural fungicides. The fungal membrane is crucial to maintaining the “life” of the fungus, which is why many antifungal treatments target the fungal membrane. Fatty acids, such as the ones found abundantly in coconut oil, naturally insert themselves in the lipid (fat) layer of the fungal membrane and disturb it, leading eventually to cell disintegration and the ultimate destruction of the fungus (to put it in a nutshell.)

You will need…

-A bit of coconut oil
-Gloves or a sink and soap to wash hands between applications

coconut oil

Directions

Wearing gloves or washing your hands between applications (if you have more than one affected nail) rub coconut oil onto the area and let it absorb and dry naturally. There is no need to gob a whole bunch on-a thin layer will do. Repeat 2-3 times daily.

coconut oil fungus remedy

Like athletes foot, you can work towards preventing enail fungus by keeping feet clean and, most importantly, dry. Don’t re-wear socks, and stick to open toed shoes if possible. It takes time and patience to get rid of toenail fungus, and for the nail to grow back healthy and normal again. Be diligent about applying your treatments (I can’t stress that enough, it’s really the key to getting these to work the best they can) and don’t overlook preventative methods to keep the fungus from coming back.


Tip for best results: Before using these treatments, trim back as much of the effected nail as you can with a clean nail clippers (don’t peel with your fingers!) Make sure to disinfect the clippers after using them to prevent the fungus from spreading. Rinse feet in warm water, and pat dry.

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By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, romping with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse.

Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→

         

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17 Comments

  1. antoinette says:

    Hi Claire i would like to have your input on R/A and natural cure or help for it please

  2. Laura says:

    I read your article about natural remedies for nail fungus. I got fungus under my big toenail after I fell off my bike and the nail got a small hole in it. I don’t take any medications and I tried EVERY natural remedy known, including the ones you list. (probably 100′s…) After a year, it had gotten so much worse that the nail was only attached by the skin around it and I was certain I would lose the nail. And then I stumbled on a phrase in an article about something else: fungus can’t grow on salt. Here is what finally worked for me: Scrub with baking soda and warm water to get the crusty stuff out from under the nail, dry it and pack it with himilayan pink salt and dab some coconut oil on the nail/skin to keep it soft and to work more of the salt as deep into the gap as possible. It stings a little at first, but it works. Within a week, the nail was growing back at the root pink and healthy! I was so desperate and discouraged and this really worked. And of course I don’t tell anyone because who wants to talk about their nail fungus! I have never seen it written anywhere before or since – pretty sure I invented this cure. Haha.

    • Anita says:

      Definitely gonna try your advice on nail fungus.i am struggling for years now with no improvement.thanx for your tip.

    • mete says:

      ı have fungus in my nails for more than a year .First year ı used medicine pills whıch my doctor gave me. ı read and tried many many natural remedies but they were all topic remedies.as we know the fungus lives in the nail root but topic remedies cannot reach there .ı still struggle desperately.

  3. Bobbi says:

    Wouldn’t it help to mix the Tea Tree and Orange with the Coconut Oil and rub it on???

  4. Sherri says:

    Claire, do you have any input on the salt remedy for nail fungus? I have nail fungus under on of my thumbnails and it has been totally resistant to any and all treatments I’ve tried. I think at some point the nail must have become slightly detached from the thumb and allowed water/moisture to get underneath the nail. We know how fungus loves moist areas. The rest is history! Thanks for any information you can provide.

  5. naturalremediesexpert says:

    great also Allow air to reach the infected toe as much as possible. Moist socks and shoes breed fungal growth. Go barefooted as much as you can. Wear sandals whenever possible. Do not wear your sock or hosiery more than one day without washing. White socks that can be bleached are a plus.

    Dry feet thoroughly after getting wet

  6. Kris says:

    I had fungus on my thumb nails and 1-2 other nails. I also had it on my large toenails. On the fingers, I kept a small bottle with a dropper screw top filled with apple cider vinegar. Every time I thought of it, I put a drop of vinegar (more on the fingers than the toes–convenience, lol) I kept the bottle by the computer, I would apply it several times a session, letting it go under the nail, and just air dry. I did also put it on my toenails, but somewhere during this time I started taking coconut oil in my coffee everyday. One day I noticed the fungus was gone. I have also put the coconut oil directly on the nail and rubbed it in, esp. during sandal time.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Where do u get pink salt my mom had the toe fungas on all her toes they are so bad can hardly cut them they stick up and hard for her to wear her shoes she is 97years but would love to give this a try as nothing else has worked

    • Claire Goodall says:

      You can order Himalayan (pink) salt from a number of sources online. I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. I hope these remedies help your mom (and wow! 97 years is impressive!)

  8. hemamt saini says:

    plz hlp me coz my toes nail(both left nd right toes) growing into my skin nd its vry painful… I had took a help frm a doc.nd he remove my nail(surgery)…bt its nt useful…nd its become more worst…

  9. Liz says:

    I put Vicks vapor rub on my fungus nail 2-3 times a day for about a month and now it is back to normal.

  10. Celestial says:

    Hi, I was wondering why you need to wear gloves when applying the coconut cream. Coconut seems harmless enough, on your fingertips too, doesn’t it?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      The coconut is perfectly safe, the gloves are an option that can decrease the risk of spreading the fungus or re-infecting the toe.

  11. Jan belcher says:

    My cousin was treated by his doctor for a nail fungus. It ended up being melanoma. He had to have part of his thumb removed. So if the remedies don’t work please go to the doctor.

  12. Kiara says:

    If you do the vinegar treatment, do you change the vinegar for every treatment or can u use the same more than once?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Change it, as you don’t want to re-use anything that could possibly be contaminated from a previous soaking. You can use less than a cup if you like, just make sure the nail is covered :)

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