Fungus under the toenails can become bad enough to cause embarrassment for people who suffer from it. In severe cases, they begin to avoid situations where anyone might see their toes. But curing toenail fungus is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, most people have everything they need to cure the fungus problem in their own homes.
Stop Fungus Growth
Before you can think about curing toenail fungus, you must stop it from spreading and getting worse. Keeping your feet clean and dry is the only way to prevent more fungus growth. Once the fungus is cured, keeping feet dry will keep fungus from coming back. After showering or soaking your feet, be sure the feet and toenails are completely dry. Use a hair dryer on a cool setting to ensure that no moisture is trapped beneath the toenails. Warm, moist places are a breeding ground for fungus. Wear only cotton socks and change them often. If your feet sweat, change your socks several times per day. It may seem inconvenient at first to create a habit of constant sock-changing but in the end, it will help cure your toenail fungus.
Soaking the toenails is an important part of killing toenail fungus. Pharmacies and health food stores sell all kinds of products that promise to kill toenail fungus, but some of these products are expensive. Instead of spending a lot of money, use what you already have in the house. Listerine is a popular mouthwash for one reason--it kills germs and bacteria that grow in the warm, moist environment of the mouth. Use Listerine's germ-fighting capabilities on your toes. Fill a small tub with Listerine and soak your feet for 15 minutes daily. You will need to do this every day until the old nail grows out and new nail replaces it - it could take several months depending on how quickly your nails grow. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar and water to make an alternative to Listerine. Apple cider vinegar also fights germs and kills bacteria. Soak your toes daily and you will see noticeable improvement very quickly. Remember to dry your toes well. Soaking the toes in either of these liquids will kill germs but if you leave your toenails wet after soaking, new fungus will grow in its place. Use the hairdryer each time you soak to ensure that your nails are completely dry.
See A Doctor
Home treatments should be tried first because they have less side effects and are much more affordable. However, if home cures do not suffice, you need to see a doctor. He will prescribe prescription medications to fight the fungus.
The prescription will probably a combination of a topical ointment for the toenail combined with an oral medication. Topical medications are painting on like a toenail polish and the medication is absorbed into the nail to kill the fungus. Oral medications for fungus can have serious side effects, including liver damage. Be sure you have exhausted all other possibilities before beginning an anti-fungal treatment.
Preventing Fungus Regrowth
Everyone knows that prevention is the best cure, and the case of toenail fungus is no different. While you are curing your toenail fungus, you need to develop new habits that will help keep the fungus away for good. Eat a healthy diet. Include more fruits and vegetables in your daily life and be sure to get enough fiber as well. Yogurt is fabulous for fighting off bacteria in the body, so be sure to get a serving of yogurt each day.
Exercise regularly. Make sure your body is as strong as it can be because a healthy, strong body more easily will fight off all kinds of bacteria and infections. Lift hand weights, do yoga and walk regularly. You do not have to join a gym or do elaborate workouts to get or stay fit. Stop sharing socks, shoes or towels with others, even family members. Toenail fungus can quickly spread from one person to another. If your children are prone to toenail fungus, do not pass their shoes down to a younger sibling. Throw them away when they outgrow them to prevent fungus growth from reoccurring.