Fungal infections can occur on the toe and fingernails. In medical terms the fungal infection of the nail is known as onychomycosis. The nail becomes discolored and thick. The nail affected by the fungal infection might become brittle. Fungal infection of the nail can cause pain in the fingertips or toes. Older adults, usually above 60 years of age, are most vulnerable to fungal infection of the nails.
Fungal nail infection causes
Fungal infection of the nail is typically caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. Besides dermatophytes, molds and yeasts can also be responsible for this infection. The fungus enters the skin through a tiny opening between the nail and nail bed. With heat and moisture, the fungus multiplies, causing fungal infection of the nail. Poor blood circulation and weak immunity make older adults more susceptible to fungal nail infection. People who work in moist atmosphere, perspire heavily and suffer from diabetes have greater risk of developing fungal nail infection.
Fungal nail infection home remedies
Fungal infection of the nail takes a long time to heal. Several home remedies could help to arrest the growth of the fungus.
Soaking your finger or toe affected by the fungal infection in diluted vinegar, two to three times a day, could help to reduce the infection. You can also use apple cider vinegar for treating fungal infection of the nail. After soaking your finger or feet in diluted vinegar, remember to pat the skin dry.
Castor oil is often used as a home remedy for treating fungal nail infection. For best results, before applying castor oil on your nail, add one tablespoon of Epsom salt in a glass of warm water and dip your finger in the solution for about 5 minutes. People suffering from toe nail fungal infection could take an Epsom salt footbath before applying castor oil.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a potent antifungal agent that can help to cure your nail fungal infection. Applying tea tree oil daily, two to three times a day, could help to heal the fungal infection. For better results, you can mix equal proportions of tea tree and lavender oils, and apply the oil mixture on your affected finger.