Toenail fungus can be an embarrassing and unsightly condition, but it’s a lot more common than you think, affecting nearly 12% of adults. Otherwise known as onychomycosis, the most noticeable symptom is a discoloration on your nail, typically beginning as a white, brown, or yellow spot on or under your nail. As it spreads, it causes your nails to thicken and crack, as well as become brittle and distorted. Your nails can also loosen and separate from the nail bed.

Yes, it can become a painful situation, and unfortunately, it usually doesn’t go away on its own.

There’s absolutely no shame in getting treatment. After all, it’s better to get it treated during its earlier stages, before it gets worse and spreads to the skin around your nail, the rest of your nails, or even to other parts of your body. There are different kinds of treatment options that you can try, and many of them can be done in the comforts of your own home.

Topical Solutions

By far the easiest and fastest way to get rid of toenail fungus, topical solutions typically come with a brush applicator that you can use to apply the solution on the infected nail. Topical solutions are ready to use, and are specially formulated with essential oils and plant extracts that penetrate the nail bed, and stop the growth of nail fungus, effectively killing the fungus after just a few uses. Not only are they a highly effective way to get rid of toenail fungus, they are also very affordable.

Before using the topical solution, trim the infected nail and file it as close to the discolored spot or source as possible. Make sure to follow the instructions that come with the product, usually written on the label or packaging. Topical solutions also allow the restoration and growth of clearer, healthier nails.

Essential Oils

The most popular essential oil to use when in treating toenail fungus is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has many therapeutic benefits, including its potential to act as natural antifungal and antiseptic agent. With consistent and proper use, tea tree oil can kill the source of the fungus. However, because nail fungus can be a challenge to treat, it may take awhile before you see any evident results.

Another essential oil you can use is oregano oil, which also has powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties and has benefits that are superior to prescription antibiotics. Not only can oregano oil combat nail fungus, it can also destroy mold within your system. Like tea tree oil, oregano oil must be used consistently, and may take awhile to see results.

To use these essential oils, apply either (make sure they’re diluted) to the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab. Continue until the fungus is gone.

Natural Extracts

While not well-known in the United States, snakeroot extract has been traditionally used in Mexico to treat fungal infections. Snakeroot is part of the sunflower family, and is relatively known for its antifungal properties. One laboratory study found that specific compounds within snakeroot have antifungal properties against strains of fungus that can cause athlete’s foot.

To use snakeroot extract, apply the extract to the affected nail two or three times a week. Typically, treatment lasts for about 3 months.

Another popular natural extract is olive leaf extract. Despite its minimal use in the United States, olive leaf extract has been used to treat fungal infections for centuries. It’s a safe home remedy against toenail fungus.

To use olive leaf extract, it’s best to start slow to avoid the potential side effects. Olive leaf extract can be applied topically or ingested as a capsule. Usually, the capsule is taken twice or thrice a day with a meal.

Author's Bio: 

This website was created to help the over 35 million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus. For most, nail fungus is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. If you have the condition you know how painfully embarrassing it can be – distorting your nails from clear and smooth to dark, yellow, black, and misshapen. This website is committed to creating and aggregating useful, honest information on how to address this condition. We are here to help.