If you're suffering from a fungal infection on your fingernails, toenails or skin, then you may want to try using a home remedy. Home remedies are less expensive than pharmaceutical solutions and are believed to have fewer side effects. Unfortunately, they're not lab-tested, so their efficiency can't be vouched for with certainty. Some people just prefer treating ailments with ingredients they're familiar with, and a fungal infection is one ailment that has been treated successfully in the home for generations.
A twice-daily soak in hydrogen peroxide is one method that's popular for killing fungal infections. If you're treating your nails, be sure to clip away as much of the affected area as possible and scrape away any gritty material that forms beneath the nail bed. If you're treating the skin, it may be sensitive to the peroxide at first. Dilute 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide into 1 gallon of water to make an athlete's foot soak.
Monistat is the name brand for a yeast infection treatment, but many people don't know that yeast infections come from Candida, and the treatment is anti-fungal cream. For athlete's foot, simply massage it into the skin. For infected nails, use an emery board to wear away the top surface of the nail a little, then apply a small amount of the cream to the tops of the nails. You can use a Q-tip or your finger to press some of the cream up underneath your nail where the fungus is thriving. Apply two to three times daily and you'll notice a different in just a few days. You don't need to use the name-brand cream; generic anti-fungal cream is a fraction of the cost and available at drug stores.
The method for killing fungal infections with vinegar is similar to the method for using hydrogen peroxide. Both substances are mildly acidic. For feet and hands, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water for soaking. You can also use a Q-tip to apply vinegar (undiluted) directly to the nails. Some people find the odor offensive, but it can be washed off after a few minutes. Reapply two to three times a day.
Bleach is antifungal as well, but many people are offended by the odor and irritated when it touches their skin. if you already know you're sensitive to bleach, then I wouldn't even recommend trying this method. Also known as "Ted's Remedy," the bleach method involves adding a cap full of bleach to one cup of water and soaking your fingertips. This may be a difficult method for toes, and applying the solution with a cotton swab may be wiser. Be sure to wash the solution off your skin thoroughly when finished, using soap and water and rinsing until the skin no longer feels "slippery," indicating that the proper pH balance has returned.
Herbs & Essential Oils
Garlic oil, oregano essential oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil are among the several reported herbal remedies for nail fungus. To use one of these methods, apply the oil with a dropper to the underside of your nails in the morning and in the evening. Be sure that your essential oils are true medicinal or cosmetic grade, and not merely scented mineral oils. World Family Medicine is a well-reputed source of medicinal quality essential oils as well as cosmetic grade essential oils for medicinal purposes.
Boil Your Socks and Gloves
Often, fungus can live in among the fibers of your favorite sports socks and in your winter gloves. If they can't be bleached, boil them for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak them in a solution of vinegar for up to 30 minutes before drying in a gas or electric dryer. Don't air dry them, this can help nurture the fungus instead of killing it. The vinegar smell will go away once they're dry. This treatment should be used in addition to treating the fungus on your body, and not by itself.