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I have fungal infection in my toenail. Are there any home remedies to treat it?
Fungal infection in the nails are usually caused due to a specific kind of fungus and the condition is called Onychomycosis. In this condition your nail becomes brittle, turns yellowish or blackish in colour and in some instances may also emit a foul odour. In most cases a doctor will first test the nail for the type of fungus causing the infection with the help of a microscopic examination and anti fungal drug sensitivity tests. He/she will then prescribe anti fungal medication that you will have to take orally and topically (by applying the medication on the affected nail). You will also have to undergo regular tests to check if the infection has subsided.
In most cases getting rid of a fungal infection is not very easy, but there are a number of home remedies which, if regularly followed and if used in conjunction with allopathic medication, can help beat the infection. Here are some home remedies you can try:
Mehendi: This remedy is great when the fungal infection is still in the nascent stages. Henna has very powerful astringent and anti fungal properties that help clear out the infection from the root. To use this remedy, grind some fresh henna leaves, add the juice of half a lemon and some turmeric to the mixture. Now, mix it well and apply this paste to the affected nail just before you go to sleep. You may choose to wrap a cloth around the area to prevent the paste from drying and falling off. Wash off the paste the next morning. This should be done regularly in order to see good results.
Sulphur: Also known as Gundhak in Ayurveda, is a great remedy for fungal infections and scabies. A form of yellow sulphur, this substance helps kill the fungus and stops it from recurring again. To use this remedy, mix a small amount of gundhak with coconut oil to make a thick paste. Now apply this paste to the affected nail, taking care to apply it well in the crevices of the nail. Now allow it to stay for the entire night and wash it off the next morning. This remedy works well if done regularly.
Potatoes: Are natural anti fungal and bleaching agents that help clear up fungal infections. To beat a fungal infection, peel and grate one half of a small potato, add a spoon of turmeric to the mix and apply the paste to the affected nail. Now allow it to stay on the area for up to eight hours and wash it off. The best part about this remedy is that it also helps restore the original colour of your nails. Read more about Potatoes and how they aren't fattening if eaten the right way.
Turmeric: Known as the nature's most powerful antiseptic and anti fungal agent, turmeric has umpteen benefits for the body -- right from curing skin infections to keeping cancer at bay. To use this remedy mix a small amount of turmeric with a little bit of water or fresh lemon juice. Now apply this paste to the affected area. You can use this remedy once or twice a day on a regular basis for best results. Read more about the health benefits of turmeric.
Lemon: A strong astringent, anti fungal and antiseptic, lemon is great for almost all skin infections. Not only does it help restore the colour of your infected nail but also fights fungal infections very effectively. Apply the juice of a lemon on your nails on a daily basis for quick results. You can choose to apply it as often as possible since lemon juice does not stain clothes and is relatively non sticky. Read more about the health benefits of lemon.
Onion: Its pungent odour and innumerable health benefits, makes onion a great remedy for fungal infections. Used by Ayurveda practitioners for both skin and nail infections, onion is great when it comes to fighting a stubborn nail infection. All you need to do is take the juice of an onion and apply it to the infected nail. You may also choose to apply the onion piece directly to the nail. For an added boost you can mix the juice of half a lemon to the mix.
Apple cider vinegar: Not only does it smell great but it is also a quick and effective remedy to heal fungal infections. Often used to beat dandruff, apple cider vinegar is great to beat fungal infections of the foot as well. To use this remedy you can choose to either apply the vinegar on your nail or soak your foot in a hot water tub with vinegar in it. Allow your feet to soak in this bath for about thirty minutes and them dry your feet well with a towel. As an added precaution you can choose to coat your nails with some lemon juice before you wear your footwear. Do his regularly o help beat the infection. Read more about how apple cider vinegar can help fight dandruff.
Neem: Known for its innumerable benefits for the body, neem oil is a great way to beat a fungal infection. Packed with potent anti fungal properties, a little neem oil goes a long way in beating a fungal infection of the nails. Apply a few drops of neem oil on the infected nail. Do this three times a day for immediate results. Read more about the beauty benefits of neem.
Tea tree oil: This oil is great for all kinds of skin ailments, right from ingrown hair to acne. But did you know that it is also a great remedy for fungal infections of the nail. Well, tea tree oil has very strong astringent, antiseptic and anti fungal properties that make it a perfect antidote for a fungal infection. Apart from that it also helps the body heal faster and can keep fungal infections at bay. To use this remedy, you may choose to either soak your feet in a warm bath with tea tree oil or apply the oil directly to your nail. Do this twice a day for the best results. Read more about the umpteen uses of tea tree oil.
Diet: When it comes to warding off infections, your diet is one of the most important aspects. Including immune boosting foods into your diet helps keep your immune system healthy and opportunistic infections at bay. Another great way to avoid fungal infections is to eat probiotic foods. These food assist in the growth of your body's good bacteria and wards off infections. Read more about natural remedies to boost your immunity.
Disclaimer: These are only home remedies and should not be used in place of proper medical advice. Please visit your doctor for treatment if the symptoms persist.
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