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The Fungus Among Us: Three Natural Ways To Treat Toenail Fungus

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If you suffer from toenail fungus, your podiatrist may recommend using a prescription medication to treat it. While they are often effective, these medications can cause side effects like fever, sore throat, hearing problems ad joint pain. Thus, it is worth your while to explore other treatments before resorting to prescription medications. Here's a look at three natural ways to treat your toenail fungus. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic, which helps alleviate any pain and itching caused by toenail fungus. Its components alter your nail's pH, making it less hospitable to the fungus. It also has antibacterial properties, which will help prevent you from also developing a bacterial infection when your nails and surrounding skin are weakened by the fungal infection.  

To use apple cider vinegar to treat your toenail fungus, mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Soak the infected nail in the mixture for 30 minutes, and then dry it completely. Repeat this process daily or a month.

Tea Tree Oil

If you want a treatment that you can just dab on and go, tea tree oil is a good choice. It has natural antifungal properties and will slowly, over time, kill the fungi and keep them from replicating. To use tea tree oil to treat your toenail fungus, simply apply 1-2 drops of the oil to your infected nails about 3 times per day until the infection appears to be gone. Make sure you are buying high quality tea tree oil from a reputable brand for best results; inexpensive brands may be diluted with other oils.

Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano contains a compound called thymol which is known to be a natural fungicide. It also has pain relieving properties, making it a good choice if your infected toenails are causing you discomfort. It is quite strong and may cause some temporary irritation after topical use. If you wish to apply the oil topically, rub a little bit on each infected toenail twice per day. Alternatively, you can take oil of oregano capsules by mouth (1-3 45-mg capsules per day). Expect to wait between 12 weeks and 4 months for results.

Keep in mind that the treatments above do not work for everyone. If you do not experience success with these methods, speak with a  podiatrist (such as one from Allied Ankle & Foot Care Centers PC) about using medications to treat your toenail fungus. He or she can adjust the dose and recommend tactics to reduce your risk of side effects.