Toenail fungus (Onychomycosis) is usually caused by dermophytes (a group of fungi). Dermophytes live off and thrive on keratin and skin (components of nails and hair). This fungus gets below or under the nail into the nail bed and starts to multiply rapidly. Dermophyte fungus then turns the nail yellowish brown, dark, and sometimes unnaturally white.
The damage to the nails becomes so extreme that they may turn hard, thick, become extremely brittle, and eventually fall off. Dark and discolored nails could also be a result of the dermophyte fungus.
Fungus tends to live in damp, moist, and humid conditions. It lives off humidity and wetness and is very commonly found in swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower areas. Hikers and trekkers who have to cross wet streams or ponds have also contracted the toenail fungus due to damp socks and shoes. People with low immune systems and underlying health conditions like diabetes, circulatory issues and so on are known to be susceptible to nail fungus.
It is challenging to understand the nature of the fungal infection since it might not be easily detected. Thankfully, the treatments for fungal nails are readily available and can be purchased easily.
Here are 2 ways that you can try to curb the spread of toenail fungus at home. While these remedies are effective, they are not permanent solutions.
Mouthwash: Store-bought mouthwash contains menthol, eucalyptus, and thymol that have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Add 2 capfuls of mouthwash solution to a bucket or shallow tub of lukewarm water. Soak the affected foot or hand for half an hour daily to kill the fungus.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties that help disinfect and kill the toenail fungus. Apply tea tree oil directly onto the affected nails with a piece of cotton. Do this twice daily to curb the spread of toenail fungus.
Most toenail fungus’ can be cured with the correct treatment found in gels, creams, body washes, or bath soaks.