Home remedies and self-care

There are many opinions as to which steps should be taken against problems with unsightly nails on fingers and toes. Aside from effective treatment with fungicidal medications there are many variations of more or less functional home remedies and self-care treatments.

Self-care
Thanks to a couple of simple measures dealing with hygiene and nail care, one can relieve difficulties in regard to fungal nail infections.

Foot hygiene is important. Wash the feet carefully at least once a day, and dry the feet carefully after washing. The type of stockings and shoes used can have an effect. Stockings should be made of materials which breathe well, such as cotton, and it is good to change them often. A good principle to follow is that of changing stockings when they start to become damp.

Wash stockings in at least 60 degrees; this will kill any fungi that might be present in them. Choose shoes which breathe well, and it is even better if they are made of natural materials.

Well-ventilated shoes reduce perspiration and keep the feet cool; this prevents the feet from becoming warm and sweaty, conditions which cause the fungus to thrive. The use of bath-slippers is recommended, and one should refrain from going barefoot around swimming pools, changing rooms and shower facilities, to prevent infecting others with the fungal nail infection.

Nail care can relieve mild issues with fungal nail infections. Trim the nails short and file them often. Bathe the feet to soften the nails, in order to reduce cracking. After nail treatment and washing, it is good to lubricate the skin with foot cream, in order to reduce the risk of being affected by pressure injuries from shoes.

Home remedies
Aside from self-care, there are a multitude of inventive home remedies. The effects of home remedies have been debated; they have no proven effect but many have had positive experiences with them.

1 A popular home remedy is tee tree oil. Many are of the opinion that it has an effect against fungal nail infections. It is antiseptic and has a healing effect towards fungal nail infections that speaks well for its potential. What is unclear is whether it is potent enough to kill the fungus. It is easy to use tee tree oil. First, trim and file the nails regularly; then stroke on the oil. The aim is for it to act against the fungus that is infecting the nail.

2 Vicks VapoRub is said to be useful against fungal nail infections. It is a strong cream that contains menthol. The cream was developed to soothe the inconveniences of the common cold; it is meant to increase the blood circulation in the areas where it is applied, and it produces a noticeable warming sensation. This home remedy is believed to be effective through improving the blood circulation in the affected area, and this can potentially aid the healing process. The treatment is easy to carry out. Trim down and file the affected nails as far as possible. Then rub the ointment onto the nails twice a day. After a lengthy treatment from 6 months to a year, a fresh new nail will grow out.

3 Many believe that a treatment with vinegar can be used to combat fungal nail infections. Vinegar is an acidic liquid with a pH value of about 2. Through a treatment with vinegar, the pH value is changed in the environment which the attacking fungus needs to thrive and grow. The idea is that the vinegar will kill the fungus. This substance is said to have a good effect against fungus, so there can be a certain effect against fungal nail infections. It is not a complicated process to treat fungal attacks on the nails with vinegar. Wet a Q-tip or a cotton-wad with vinegar and first moisten the skin around the nail; then move on to the healthy nails and finally treat the nails infected with the fungus. Carefully, push the vinegar-drenched Q-tip or cotton-wad under the nail, in order to reach all of the fungi. This process should be repeated twice a day until the fungus has disappeared.

4 Olive and coconut oil are considered useable for relief of difficulties with fungal nail infections. The effect is thought to be similar to that attained with vinegar treatment, but is considerably milder for the skin. This cure is carried out in the same manner as one conducts the treatment with vinegar.

5 Foot-bathing is a good habit when one is afflicted with a fungal nail infection; it softens up the nails and prevents cracking. A variation of a foot-bath that is said to lessen the problems with fungal nail infections is a foot-bath with added olive oil and lemon juice. The effects of lemon juice and olive oil are questionable however, it is highly unlikely that they will cause any problems. The combination of olive oil and lemon is good for the skin.