If you think your nails don’t look normal to you like they are more yellowish, whitish, or greenish, chances are you may be having a toenail fungus infection which is also called onychomycosis. It is known as a common concern when it comes to foot nails.
There are many other symptoms of nail fungus infections aside from discoloration. The toenails become swollen, inflamed, thick, and crumbly with jagged edges. As the infection worsens and spreads to other parts the nail may end up brittle. If it is left with treatment, the infected area can become painful and uncomfortable when you walk.
Nail fungus may affect both fingernails and toenails. However, toenail infections are more prevalent than fingernail infections. This type of infection has many common causes. Sweating profusely particularly the feet, walking barefoot in a warm and moist environment like public swimming pool, locker rooms, and shower rooms, having psoriasis and a weakened immune system due to medical conditions like diabetes and blood circulation problems, minor nail or skin injury, having athlete’s foot, and having a damaged nail or other kinds of infections.
Treatment for the toenail fungus infection varies according to type, level of severity, the extent of infection, symptoms, and the pre-existing conditions of the person. The objective of nail fungus treatment is to get rid of the pathogens, restore nail health, and prevent further infection or reinfection. Oftentimes, it takes time to cure and there are instances wherein the nail does not return to its normal appearance. Toenail fungus infection comes with a high reinfection rate at 40 to 70 percent.
There are several ways to treat toenail fungus infections. You can have nonprescription options such as antifungal creams, nail polish, and gels that can be bought over the counter. This is best for mild symptoms of toenail fungus infection. Some people also resort to more natural treatments or home remedies such as Vicks VapoRub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, snakeroot extract, apple cider vinegar, and others. You can also choose from prescription nail polish and creams. This can be prescribed to you by your doctor after a sample of your nail is sent to a lab to determine the fungus that causes it. At times, using any of these may work along with taking oral antifungal pills. These pills are prescription-based and it may take months for them to take effect. Taking these pills may have adverse effects like headaches, vomiting, nausea, and liver damage. When the nail infection is severe and it has been wreaking havoc for some time now, the doctor may recommend a nail removal. The nail will grow back although it will take a year. While the nail is growing, you may also be given a cream or topical treatment to resist the fungus. One of the ways to remove the nail is through laser surgery. It is painless, but it can be expensive.
3Home Remedy: Borax
You can treat mild nail fungus infections in your own home. You can use over-the-counter treatments or some home remedies. One of your options is the use of borax. It is a white and powdery substance and it is also called sodium tetraborate, sodium borate, and disodium tetraborate. It is composed of oxygen, boron, and sodium. Borax is usually found in dry lake beds in areas like the Death Valley in California, where mineral deposits were left after the water evaporated. Boric acid comes from the same chemical compound as borax. It also looks the same. Borax is often used for cleaning while borax acid is used as a pesticide. Boric acid can also kill insects.
Borax has shown its capability to kill various types of fungi. It has also shown an impact on treating athlete’s foot and nail fungus infection. All you have to do is to mix borax and baking soda plus water to come up with a paste. This can be applied to your clean wet nails twice every day.
Baking soda is almost always available and it is known to be effective against toenail fungus, apart from helping to get rid of the foul smell. Borax is as effective as alkaline against nail fungus. This combination will prevent the fungus from spreading.