Treating toenail fungus is recommended as soon as the first signs and symptoms appear. Fortunately, there are a good number of options that can help treat toenail fungus, including the use of natural options. The recommended natural way to treat nail fungus is to use the best essential oil for fungus.
Going the natural way can help your feet and toes feel and look better. Talking to a professional is important, but if it has been determined that fungal infections are present and another underlying condition, essential oils could help.
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What Is Toenail Fungus?
A toenail fungus is a common infection that gets into the cracks of your nail and sometimes cuts into your skin. The noticeable symptom of nail fungus is discoloration, where they become brownish or sometimes whitish-yellow. As the fungal infection progresses, it can spread to other toenails and cause the toenails to thicken and even crack sometimes.
Are Essential Oils Effective Against Fungi?
Studies have shown that essential oils like tree tea oil will make the fungi and yeast die. This means that it is an important treatment for ringworm, dermatitis, Candida infections, etc. In addition, these essential oils can also kill microbes that are resistant to medical treatments used to treat fungal infections.
The most powerful essential oils like lemongrass, geranium, orange, patchouli, citronella, and orange can inhibit the growth of twelve different types of fungi. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil were against eleven fungi, while essential oils derived from herbs and spices like clove, cinnamon, and thyme have potent antimicrobial properties.
If you're looking for the best carrier oil for treating nail fungus, then coconut oil might be the best option. This is because coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties and also absorbs quite fast. Apart from coconut oil, there are other essential oils used for fungal nail infections. Below are some of the best essential oils in the market today.
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1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that helps prevent several infections and also accelerate wound healing. In addition, it contains terpenin-4-ol, a compound known to kill fungi and prevent fungal growth.
Plant Therapy Tea Tree Essential Oil for toenail fungus is an effective, potent oil made from Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Since it is quite powerful, it is recommended to dilute it before applying it to your skin and never ingest it. It helps clear blemishes, supports your immune system, and is perfect for aromatherapy since it provides a calming effect.
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon oil is rich in cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, which are healing compounds with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It also helps to maintain a drier nail which inhibits the environment the fungus thrives in.
The NOW Essential Oils, Cinnamon Bark Oil, is more powerful compared to the cinnamon leaf oil. It is steam distilled from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree. The fragrance of cinnamon can also be used to energize your body and mind. It can also be added to massage oil to provide a warm and relaxing feeling.
3. Clove Essential Oil
Clove oil boasts a high eugenol content, making it a powerful antifungal treatment to promote blood circulation and fight parasites. Moreover, clove oil is also a remedy used to repel the brown marmorated stink bugs. It is an important ingredient in Thieves oil, which is an aromatic and spicy blend used to treat toenail fungal infections.
The Edens Garden Clove Bud Oil is a great remedy for fungi infections, as well as toothaches and difficulty in breathing. However, since it is quite potent, a little will go a long way, and you need to dilute it before you can apply it to your nails.
4. Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano oil is a natural and strong antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties because of its high content of thymol and carvacrol. In addition, it has amazing healing properties, particularly its ability to kill fungal strains and fight against foot fungus growth.
The Plant Therapy Organic Oregano Oil for toenail fungus is steam distilled from dried parts and is food-grade Origanum vulgare. Apart from treating fungus, you can use the oil to flavor your food, and since it has thymol, it has benefits for the whole body.
5. Lemongrass Oil
As one of the best essential oils for toenail fungus, lemongrass oil is gotten from the stalks and leaves of the lemongrass plant. It has a strong citrusy aroma and is an excellent antifungal agent against the toenail fungus that causes Candida albicans.
Aura Cacia Lemongrass Essential Oil comes from the Cymbopogon flexuosus plant. It is known to be a natural astringent and a great mosquito repellant. It has an invigorating aroma that blends well with many essential oils. Moreover, it is paraben and petroleum-free, making it safe for use.
How Do You Apply The Essential Oil For Toenail Fungus?
Essential oils need to be diluted using a carrier oil before they get in contact with the skin. For example, tea tree oil should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, black seed oil, apricot, and peach kernel oil.
Once it is well blended with the carrier oil, here is the procedure you should follow;
- Clean your toes, toenails, and feet using water and soap.
- Dry using a soft towel
- Apply a few drops of the oil blend to the infected nail bed
- Leave it to soak for approximately ten minutes
- Using a soft toothbrush, gently scrub the nail
- Repeat this on a daily basis until the infected nail is replaced with a healthy one.
Benefits of Using Anti-fungal Essential Oils
There are plenty of benefits that come with using natural remedies such as essential oils for the treatment of toe fungus and affected nails, including;
- No chemical additives making it safe for use
- Less expensive than washes and creams
- No potential side effects like skin irritation
- It has additional aromatherapy benefits
- Pleasant scent
Other Remedies for Toenail Fungus
Essential oils are only one part of your treatment plan, and it is important to take some additional steps to get more from this treatment. Since toenail fungus thrives in the dark and damp places, remember the following;
- Change the socks often and do not wear damp ones, whether it is from rainwater or sweat. Always change the damp socks as soon as possible and never wear the same socks for two days or more.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes as they can prevent proper airflow around the feet.
- Wear flip flops while around the house to provide your toes with breathing opportunities, promote fungus prevention and better healing.
- Shower daily, including your toes and feet, and ensure you dry them properly and moisturize them.
- Trim the nails across and file them down, especially in areas that have thickened, and disinfect the nail clippers after every use.
- Avoid using nail polish, but if the need arises, you can use a medicated nail polish.
- Use antifungal powder or sprays to treat old shoes
- Choose breathable shoes and sweat-absorbing socks
When to See a Doctor
If you experience persistent toenail pain or fungus, then you may need to see a specialist to find out the specific cause from the sample of the affected nail. Knowing the cause can help find better ways to treat the condition.
Nail changes can be a symptom of underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and psoriasis, and it is important to seek medical advice. Moreover, if you're at a higher risk of infection, it is advisable to forego the home remedies and seek some professional medical treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Essential Oils for Fungus
1. How Long Does It Take to Cure Toenail Fungus with Essential Oils?
Depending on the status of the infection, you need to stick to applying the essential oils for weeks or even months until a healthy nail grows. Whether you're using lavender essential oil, tea tree oil, lemon essential oil, or a blend of different oils, you need to apply it every day for the best results.
2. Does peppermint essential oil get rid of toenail fungus?
Peppermint oil can also be used to get rid of toenail fungus, and it has been proven to have effective microbial to act against fungi.
3. What kills toenail fungus fast?
There are a number of essential oils and home remedies like hydrogen peroxide or apple cider vinegar that can kill the fungi very fast. You can directly wipe it directly to the infected toenails using a cotton swab or clean cloth for hydrogen peroxide. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a foot soak.
4. What spice cures toenail fungus?
Cinnamon is one of the best spices used to treat a number of conditions like toenail fungi and has the ability to eliminate drug-resistant yeast infections. Both cinnamon leaf oil and cinnamon bark oil can be used to treat this condition.