Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
Not too long ago I had a mild, not pain, but discomfort with one of my big toes. I thought maybe I stubbed it one something, or my shoes were to tight the day before and ignored it. Not to mention I had nail polish on my toes, so I couldn’t really take a much closer examination without more effort.
Long story short- I should have checked.
If you notice any mild discoloration in your toenail, don’t ignore it. There’s a high probability that it’s might be the start of a toenail fungus infection. The condition is called onychomycosis and if left untreated, can lead to the fungus spreading into the nail bed. It consequently leads to thick, crumbling nails and possibly a painful problem.
Causes for toenail fungus
It’s the excessive growth of fungi in, on or under the nail that leads to a fungal nail infection. Fungi naturally thrive in dark, moist and warm places. And the more it grows, the worse the infection becomes.
There is the risk of losing the toenail completely if the fungus is not treated. The fungi responsible for athlete’s foot and ringworm which can also trigger nail infections. Fungal infections are more common in toenails than fingernails because your nails are most of the time restricted in the warm and moist environment of your shoes.
Nail infections are more prevalent in males than females and in older people than children. Senior citizens are at an even higher risk of getting an infection because of their poor blood circulation. In addition to this, their nails tend to grow slowly and gradually grow thick because of their aging process.
The chances of your getting an infection are also higher if your family members get fungal infections. Any fungus in or on your body can also start a nail infection. So coming in contact with someone with a fungal infection can lead to it spreading to you.
There are prescription and over-the-counter drugs you can take, but their prolonged use is not only expensive and toxic but they gradually grow ineffective in treating recurrent infections. It’s mainly because the body builds immunity to the medicine.
Treating the problem at home with the help of essential oil for toenail fungus is a better option.
Essential oils are not only natural, fragrant and devoid of harsh chemicals, there is no fear of the body developing immunity to the oils.
Essential oils for tonail fungus
These are some essential oils that can be used to effectively kill the fungus under the nail:
Oregano oil has unique and powerful antiseptic properties that make it highly effective at killing any type of fungus.
Apply: You can apply it to your nail and surrounding skin twice or three times a day after diluting with coconut or olive oil. Let it sink in properly for better effects.
This is oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that keep your skin and nails healthy. It is an effective cure for not only nail fungal infections but also skin irritations and other health problems.
Directions: Just apply one or two drops of the argan oil to your nail a few times a day and it soaks into the nail and surrounding skin to remove the fungus.
Coconut oil is also helpful at treating nail infections. It is its fatty acids that quickly sink into the skin to remove the fungal membrane.
Application: Soak the oil in a cotton ball and apply to the dry nail and surrounding skin a few times a day. You can wear socks and shoes once it thoroughly dries.
Orange oil is not naturally strong enough to kill a fungal infection. However, mixing it with some rubbing alcohol and vinegar helps create quite a potent blend. You get an even stronger combination by mixing the oil with tea tree oil.
Use: Like other essential oils, orange oil too is applied directly to the toenail and surrounding skin, and let to soak in completely.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is considered to be the best essential oil for toenail fungus eradication. This is thanks to its natural, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use: You can soak a cotton ball in it and apply to the nail and surrounding skin thrice a day and let it dry out completely. Another option is to use a few drops of the oil in a therapeutic foot soak.
Jojoba oil is odorless, rich in vitamin E and contains antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is these traits that kill the fungus and stops the inflammation by quickly sinking into the skin.
Application: This oil should be applied to the nail and surrounding skin a few times a day and left to dry before putting on any shoes or footwear.
Additional tips to clear a toe fungal infection
Essential oils for toe fungus not only kill the bacteria but also nourish your nail. This means that you end up with a healthy nail growing back once the fungus is eliminated.
These tips, and some lifestyle changes help give you even better results.
- Trim the nails straight across as it lets the oils sink into the toenails and skin. This facilitates quicker action and results.
- Keep your nails clean and avoid injuries to skin surrounding nails.
- Make it a habit to wash your hands after touching infected nails.
- Wear socks that reduce moisture like cotton socks
- Use antifungal products like sprays and powders
- Wipe your feet well after a shower, with emphasis in between the toes
- Keep the nail and skin region as dry as possible as fungus doesn’t thrive in dry conditions
- Give your nails time to breath between artificial nails or continuous nail polish
- Do not go barefoot in public places, especially showers
- Do not share footwear or socks with other people, especially someone who has an infection
Last, but not least, if you are getting a pedicure, get it at a trustworthy salon. Find out if, how and how often the staff disinfects their tools. This is important because their tools like emery boards and nail clippers can easily spread toenail fungus infections from one customer to another if not frequently and properly sanitized before use.
Best yet if you take and use your own tools for your pedicures or manicures.