Is toenail fungus harmful? What are the different treatments for it? Is apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus a good idea? What are different ways of using ACV for toenail fungus? Let’s try to answer all these questions.
Fungal infection is one of the most common problems affecting toenails, and sometimes, fingernails as well. Factors like moist, warm and dark environments, improper hygiene etc. are usually responsible for the infection of toenails. The nails start looking extra white or yellow with irregular patches all around. It is not a serious problem, but if left untreated, can cause various problems like discolouration of surrounding skin, pain, toenail edges, and even crumbling of nails.
You can treat toenail fungus in a lot of different ways. Still, apple cider vinegar can be a very potent remedy, especially if used with some other natural remedies with powerful bleaching properties.
In this guide, we will tell you everything about the fungal infection of toenails, what are the causes, and how you can use different natural remedies for toenail fungus in different effective ways.
What are the causes of toenail fungus?
A wide range of fungal organisms or fungi can cause toenail fungal infection. But dermatophyte is responsible for most of the cases along with yeast and moulds being other secondary causes of infection.
Irrespective of what causes toenail fungus, older people are more affected than the adults because their nails get brittle and dry with time. Fungi get entry underneath the nails through breaks and pores and cause the infection. Some other responsible factors are disturbed blood circulation due to thrombosis and weakened immune system.
Foot fungus or athlete’s foot usually paves the way for infection, and it can affect multiple nails within a few weeks. It very rarely transmits from one person to another.
You Are at Risk of Developing if:
- You are older and have been exposed to fungi for so many years
- Sweat heavily and frequently
- History of athlete’s foot
- Skin conditions like injury, eczema and psoriasis etc. are left untreated
- You walk barefoot usually in damp areas, gyms, washrooms, and swimming pools etc.
- Have diabetes, weakened immune system, and blood circulation problems for so long.
Complications of Toenail Fungus:
Toenail fungus very rarely gets severe, especially if left untreated. And complications of toenail fungus can be permanent damage to affected nails, painful toes and fingers, discomfort while walking, and very brittle and soft nails etc.
How can Apple Cider Vinegar be effective against toenail fungus?
- Fungi usually thrive in an alkaline environment. Being acidic in nature, ACV can increase the pH of skin surrounding your nails and can effectively kill the fungi.
- Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties, ACV can also improve pain and inflammation caused by infection.
- Anti-bacterial prowess of apple cider vinegar can kill bacteria, germs, and other infection-causing micro-organisms.
- ACV can also prevent the further development of infection.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus?
Using diluted apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus can be as effective as it gets. But you can get even better results by combining ACV with different home remedies. Here are some DIY ACV recipes to get rid of the infection of toenails.
1. ACV with Water
- Add equal parts of diluted ACV to water
- Take water in a wide pot and soak your feet in the solution for about half an hour
- Remove your feet and pat dry with a towel or a soft cloth
- Repeat this method every day for three to four weeks and notice the difference
2. ACV and Cotton Swab
- Dip a cotton swab into one tbsp diluted ACV
- Apply the swab onto the infected nails
- Leave for a few minutes to dry out
- Repeat these steps a couple of times a day for a few weeks
3. ACV with Baking Soda
Using apple cider vinegar and baking soda for toenail fungus is another smart idea. Thanks to its fungistatic properties, baking soda can gel very well with ACV to get rid of fungal nail infection
- Add one cup ACV and one tbsp baking soda to one cup of water
- Mix well and soak your nails for about fifteen minutes.
- Take your foot out and pat dry with a soft cloth.
- Make a fine paste by mixing diluted ACV with baking soda
- Apply the paste on infected nails to cover them completely.
- Leave for about twenty minutes before washing with freshwater and pat dry.
- Repeat the process twice every day to get back your shiny, pinkish, healthy nails.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is also one of the most effective home remedies to treat nail fungus. Various researches suggest that honey can kill fungus and other infection-causing bacteria. Being a natural antiseptic and high in hydrogen peroxide, honey can effectively get rid of toenail fungus.
- Add one tbsp manuka honey totwo tbsp diluted apple cider vinegar
- Mix well, and add one glass of warm water, and mix again
- Drink this mixture to effectively attack fungi from inside
5. The mixture of ACV, Lemon Juice and Listerine
In addition to strong detoxifying properties, lemon is also known for powerful anti-fungal prowess too. Lemon can stimulate the action of fungi and can be even more effective if used with apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus. On the other hand, Listerine is a very potent antiseptic and can easily kill bacteria, germs as well as fungus.
- Add one tbsp each of diluted ACV, lemon juice and Listerine, and mix properly.
- Soak your toes in the water for about half an hour.
- Remove your feet and gently scrub to remove the leftovers.
- Pat your feet dry completely with a towel.
- Repeat these steps twice a day for three to four weeks to get the desired results.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar and Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is another one of the most effective home remedies to treat nail fungus. It has been used to treat fungal infections and wounds for a long time now. It is used specially to draw out the infection and make it easier for antibiotics and other infection medications to work on infections. Epsom salt can make the environment difficult for fungal growth by drawing out the moisture. You can increase its effectiveness by using it with apple cider vinegar. Here is how:
- Add 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar to 1/3 cup of Epsom salt and 2 cups of hot water.
- Stir the mixture well and wait for a few minutes until water is at a comfortable temperature.
- Soak your nails in the water for about half an hour.
- Repeat these steps two times a day continuously for a few days.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar with Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
What is the most effective treatment for toenail fungus?
If you are looking for the most potent way of treating toenail fungus, this mixture can be the answer for you. Hydrogen peroxide is very good at killing fungus on your foot surface, and can even kill other infection-causing bacteria.
On the other hand, borax or boric acid is a capable remedy, especially for yeast infections of the feet. You can even try borax as a second-line treatment when other medicines don’t work. If you are annoyed with recurrence of infection from Candida fungi, you should give a try to borax at least once.
In short, using ACV with hydrogen peroxide and borax is surely a compelling way of treating toenail fungus.
- Two tbsp borax
- Equal parts of diluted ACV and water
- A little amount of 3% diluted hydrogen peroxide
- Dissolve borax into hot water for a couple of minutes.
- Add a little more water along with ACV and mix again.
- Add hydrogen peroxide and keep stirring the mixture.
- Now, soak your toenails for about 45 minutes.
- Repeat these steps every day until you get rid of the infection.
Some Prevention Tips
Prevention of toenail fungus is quite possible as well as easy. Here is how you can adopt some habits to prevent toenail fungus
- Don’t forget to wash your hands and feet regularly.
- Keep them moisturized by applying a good quality moisturizer.
- Try wearing sweat-absorbing socks.
- Wear shoes made with breathable material.
- Don’t go in water or damp areas without footwear.
Toenail infection is more of a lifestyle problem than anything. And if you had the question “can apple cider vinegar heal toenail fungus?”, hopefully, you have now got the answer. Yes, ACV does help in treating the infection and can be even more potent if used with some other natural disinfectants. Use ACV according to your ease and choice and get rid of this infection within a few weeks. If you have anything to ask or suggest, don’t forget to hit the comment section. We will catch up with you pretty soon.