Nail fungus is one of the most common diseases of the foot and occurs even with good hygiene – no need to worry, because the pathological change can be treated well medically. Natural home remedies can also support therapy and prevent the development of nail fungus.
From nail fungus (lat. Onychomycosis) one speaks when certain types of fungus have settled in toenails (often) or fingernails (rarely). If there is a suspicion that a toenail is affected by nail fungus, it is advisable to have this clarified by a doctor. In this article you will learn how to prevent nail fungus and treat athlete’s foot as a “preliminary step” with simple home remedies.
Preventing nail fungus: protection and disinfection
You can find out why it is not advisable to treat a nail fungus yourself in the article below. However, medical therapy can be easily supported with simple home remedies and hygiene measures – in the same way you can prevent that a nail fungus does not even form.
The spores of the nail fungus spread easily if they find the right conditions (heat and moisture). That is why it is best not to walk barefoot in places with wet areas (swimming pool, sauna), but also in hotels, but to wear your own bathing shoes that are easy to clean. Many swimming pools offer the opportunity to disinfect your feet before leaving the pool – an offer that is worth taking!
Tip: If a nail is already affected by nail fungus, it is advisable to wash stockings, bed linen and towels at least at 60 ° Celsius and to disinfect shoes. This helps to prevent a new infection and to protect other people in the household from the fungus.
Prevent nail fungus (spread) with home remedies
Often an untreated athlete’s foot turns into a nail fungus over time, or the infection jumps from the infected nail to neighboring toes. But this can be easily prevented with home remedies that also prevent athlete’s foot from developing. For example, foot baths with salt or apple cider vinegar have proven to be very effective, and essential oils can also help to cure the athlete’s foot.
For a foot bath with essential oils, which helps against athlete’s foot and can support medical nail fungus therapy, the following are required:
And this is how the ingredients become a foot bath:
- Mix essential oils with salt.
- Place the oil-salt mixture in five liters of lukewarm water (36-38 ° C) and mix well.
- Soak your feet in it for five to ten minutes.
- After the foot bath, dry your feet thoroughly and let them air dry for a while before repacking them in socks or shoes.
It is recommended to use the foot bath twice a day.
In a separate article, we have collected further home remedies and other preventive measures against athlete’s foot.
Tip: If your feet are well supplied with blood, your immune system will also increase, and athlete’s foot has less chance of settling. That is why alternating baths (taking alternate cold and hot showering) and barefoot running help as long as the weather permits.
Athlete’s foot hates dryness: tips for dry feet
Since athlete’s foot – like nail fungus – feels most comfortable in a humid climate, it is worth removing the moisture from it wherever possible. With these tips you can keep your feet warm but as dry as possible:
- Cut toenails regularly and care for your feet in general.
- Wear socks and stockings made of breathable materials (wool, cotton, linen).
- Change shoes frequently so that they can dry completely on the inside.
- Wear breathable shoes (made of fabric or felt) in the office (if the job permits) or in other places where you spend a long time – even at home.
- If you have to wear closed shoes for a longer time: dust cornstarch or rice flour between your toes; both absorb moisture and keep your feet dry.
- Walk barefoot as often as possible.
Better not treat nail fungus yourself
Unlike athlete’s foot, treating a nail fungus on its own is not very effective. This is because the filamentous mushrooms (lat. Dermatophytes), which are mainly responsible for the disease, dig deep into the nail layers. Because they live on keratin, the main component of the nail.
Many home remedies cannot work long enough to have a positive effect at all, and even the effects of antifungal home remedies are often too weak to heal properly. Medical treatment can save a lot of annoyance with nail fungus – and has nothing to do with a lack of personal hygiene; the mushrooms are just too popular for this.
Get nail fungus treated by a doctor
If a toenail or fingernail has light spots on the front edge or white spots and stripes in the nail plate, it is advisable to go to the doctor and have the nail checked. Because nail fungus is not harmful, but can be very unsightly and painful if it is not treated.
The doctor snaps or rubs a small sample from the nail and examines whether it is actually nail fungus and what type of fungus is prevalent. Based on this analysis, he can then prescribe the right medication that effectively kills the fungi and their spores. This does not happen overnight and a little patience is required, but it does promise the best chance of a cure.
You can find many more effective uses with home remedies in our book:
How do you prevent athlete’s foot and nail fungus? We look forward to your suggestions in the comments!
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