Also referred to as Onychomycosis, fungal infection affecting the toenail is characterized by a thicker toe that is mostly yellow in color. However, the color may also be green, black or brown. Based on statistics, between 5% and 10% of grownups are likely to suffer from this condition at some point of their lives. As such, there is a growing concern about how to get rid of toenail fungus. The infection weakens the nail making it to either chip off in pieces or crack. However, toenail fungus is different from ingrown toenails, a condition that occurs when the nail grows painfully into the toe skin. With easy-to-perform home remedies for toenail fungus, the condition is curable. 

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus


Tea Tree Oil & Coconut Oil

In addition to treating toenail fungus, this oil may also be used to treat various skin infections. This is because the oil has both antifungal and antiseptic properties.

How to Apply

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a teaspoon of either coconut oil or olive oil;

  • Apply the mixture onto the affected nail with a cotton ball;

  • Allow the mixture to remain on the toe for about 10 minutes and then scrub the nail with a toothbrush;

  • This should be repeated 2 to 3 times a day, until the toe heals.


Baking Soda & Epsom Salt

Baking soda, a readily available staple in many homes, may be used to cure toenail fungus and reduce foot odor.

How to Apply

  • Add 4 cups of hot water into a container and thoroughly mix ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of Epsom salt into it. You should then add ¼ cup of white vinegar into the mixture;

  • Soak the affected toe into the mixture for about 10 minutes;

  • Wash the foot with clean water and dry it well;

  • This should be repeated daily until the toe heals.


White Vinegar

White vinegar is among the preferred nail fungus home remedies because it heals the infection and reinstates skin pH.

How to Apply

  • Mix 1 part of the vinegar into 2 parts of water;

  • Soak the infected nail in the solution for about 10 minutes;

  • Rinse the foot and dry it well;

  • Repeat this twice a day.

If the solution irritates your skin, you should add more water into it.


Oregano and Olive Oil

Owing to its antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal antibacterial and analgesic properties, oregano oil is a perfect answer to how to get rid of toenail fungus.

How to Apply

  • Mix a teaspoonful of olive oil with 2 drops of oregano oil;

  • Apply the mixture on the infected toe and leave it for 30 minutes;

  • Rinse it off and dry the toe thoroughly;

  • For positive results, this should be repeated 2 to 3 times a day for about 3 weeks.


Listerine Mouthwash

This mouthwash is normally used to kill germs and bacteria in the mouth. It contains various ingredients, like alcohol, which give it strong antiseptic properties. It is used to keep away fungi and bacteria from the infected toe.

How to Apply

  • Fill the mouthwash into a small tub or mix it with white vinegar;

  • Soak the infected toes into the mixture for about 30 minutes and scrub the infected toes gently;

  • Rinse the foot and dry it well;

  • Repeat this 1 to 2 times a day until the toes heal.


Garlic Paste

The ajoene and allicin in garlic have antifungal properties, which may be used to cure toenail fungus.

How to Apply

  • Mix equal parts of vinegar and garlic oil;

  • Apply this mixture on the affected toe and cover the toes with a bandage;

  • Leave it for several hours and then rinse off the toes;

  • This should be repeated daily until the fungi clears.

To make garlic oil, you should fry a mixture of 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil and 2 crushed garlic cloves and then strain the oil.


Lemon and Olive Oil

In addition to the antifungal and antiseptic properties of lemon juice, the citric acid in the juice can also help stop the fungus from spreading.

How to Apply

  • Apply fresh lemon juice onto the affected nail and allow it to remain there for 30 minutes;

  • Rinse the toes with warm water;

  • Alternatively, You can mix equal portions of olive oil and lemon juice and massage the mixture on the affected nails. Olive oil is meant to soften the skin. Leave the mixture on the toes for a few  hours and then rinse off.

Either of these methods should be applied once daily for about a month.


OTC Medications

  • Various medications may be used to cure toenail fungus, including itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Lamisil). 

  • Alternatively, you may also use tropical medications. However, tropical medications are not so effective when used alone. 

  • Antifungal lacquer, like ciclopirox (Penlac), may also be used to cure toenail fungus. This should be applied to the nails and the surrounding skin every day.


​Surgical Removal

For many years now, how to get rid of toenail fungus has been a point of concern for many people. In advanced cases of the condition, home remedies may not work and surgical removal of the toenail is advised. 

During the procedure, the doctor removes the infected toe completely. It may take up to a year for the toenail to re-grow. After growing back, the new nail may have an odd appearance and shape.

  • Ensure that your nail salon disinfects any metal equipment before using them on you. Disposable items, like grinders, stones, nail files and pumice should not be used on more than one person.
  • Disinfect clippers and nail files with isopropyl alcohol before re-using them on the uninfected toes.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure of feet to moisture and dampness. If your feet sweat copiously, it is advisable for you to either use powder or change into a fresh pair of socks every now and then.
  • Since a dark and warm environment promotes fungal growth, you should wear loose and open-toed shoes from time to time. And do not wear tight shoes for a long period.
  • You should clip off the infected nail as much as possible, preferably after a bath.
  • Eat a balanced diet to enhance the functioning of immune system in preventing the spreading of the fungus.

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