health

9 Cheap, Easy Home Remedies to Clear Up Yucky Toenail Fungus

by Johanna Silver
Johanna is a writer who lives, works, and volunteers in New York.

If you suffer from discolored, brittle, and warped toenails, this could mean that you have a fungal infection.

Toenail fungus usually doesn’t cause any pain when it first forms, but if the problem is not treated, overtime, it can become uncomfortable or painful to even wear shoes!

Fortunately, there are easy and effective anti-fungal treatments that can be prescribed by your doctor, as well as plenty of home remedies that can help you beat back your toe fungus even faster.

There are home remedies for just about every ailment — ranging from hemorrhoids to the common cold — and they are usually more natural than their prescribed counterparts.

These foot fungus remedies can be found all around your house and are easy to incorporate throughout the day.

Check below to learn about all of these easy aids for fighting the gunk stuck unto your toenails — you’ll be feeling fresh and fungus-free in no time!

 

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus can be caused by leaving your feet in warm, moist environments for too long, or by tiny cuts under the nail that breed dermatophytes and yeast called Candida.

Once the gunk begins to grow, it can cause your nails to discolor or disfigure, and eventually become inflamed.

Seeing your doctor about treatments is recommended, but there are also plenty of home remedies that you can use to diminish the fungus and prevent it from coming back.

Check below to learn all about these useful remedies:

Remedy #1: Listerine

Remedy #1: Listerine
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

You may think that Listerine is only good for cleaning your mouth, but it has plenty of ingredients that can help kill foot fungus as well!

Most Listerine products contain Thymol and Eucalyptol, which very effectively treat fungal infections and inflammation. 

It also contains Salicylate, which promotes the sloughing off of dead skin cells so healthy new ones can form.

To effectively use it against your fungus, combine equal amounts of Listerine and water in a foot basin, and soak for your feet for about 30 minutes before brushing them with a nail brush.

Remedy #2: Apple Cider Vinegar

Remedy #2: Apple Cider Vinegar
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Though its smell is pretty funky, apple cider vinegar has so many beneficial properties for your body.

Its acidity kills fungus and naturally restores your skin’s pH balance so that it can’t grow back.

It is also antibacterial, killing any organisms causing your feet discomfort.

Much like Listerine, soaking your feet in an apple cider vinegar water solution for 30 minutes will help relieve your feet of fungus.

Remedy #3: VapoRub

Remedy #3: VapoRub
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Many of you have used VapoRub on your body to clear your sinuses and help relieve colds.

But studies have shown that the thymol oil found in chest rubs is awesome for destroying dermatophytes and Candida that can cause foot fungus.

Simply apply the rub onto your infected nail to start feeling relief.

Remedy #4: File Down Your Nails

Remedy #4: File Down Your Nails
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

These anti-fungal treatments are only useful if they can penetrate the infected area.

Gently filing down your nails so that they are smaller and thinner can help your treatments work even better.

Keeping your nails short will also stop moisture from getting trapped until your nail, which is what helps breed the fungus and bacteria!

Remedy #5: Cornmeal

Remedy #5: Cornmeal
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Corn contains a form of fungus that is harmless to the body, but is a killer to Candida.

Cornmeal can be used to treat the very infectious fungus with, well, fungus!

In a foot bath, mix up one cup of cornmeal and about two quarts of water, then submerge infected feet for about one hour.

This natural remedy is rumored to be so effective, you only have to use it around once a week to see some serious results.

Remedy #6: Garlic

Remedy #6: Garlic
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While this remedy might not do too much to treat the odor caused by foot fungus, it will definitely help kill the bad stuff!

Garlic is a naturally anti-fungal, and its effects are as potent as its scent, especially on hard-to-reach areas like your nail bed!

Before using any garlic, apply moist heat to your infected toe to open up the pours and bring the bad stuff to the surface.

Then, either stick your foot in a sock with a garlic clove in it, or mince a bit of garlic and add it to your nail.

Remedy #7: Throw Out Sugar

Remedy #7: Throw Out Sugar
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Another way to slowly kill the fungus and yeast plaguing your nails is to eliminate sugar from your diet.

Sugary foods and yeasty foods fuel Candida — which is a yeast itself!

So, to stop it from thriving in your body and on your skin, cut off the foods that it loves and up your intake of fermented foods, like kombucha.

Remedy #8: Exercise

Remedy #8: Exercise
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

This may seem a bit counterproductive because of the sweat, but exercising can be a great aid to fighting fungus.

When you exercise, your blood pumps faster around your body.

This means that the natural vitamins and toxin-flushing properties in your body can be dispersed to problem areas faster!

Remedy #9: Keep Them Dry

Remedy #9: Keep Them Dry
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

This is paramount for beating back fungus.

Since the Candida and fungus thrive in moisture and warmth, it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible so that they don’t grow.

Taking these steps, in addition to any other fungal medication, will have you feeling fungus-free!

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