July 3, 2009

Treat Toenail Fungus with Vinegar

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Toenail fungus is more accurately called onychomycosis and is caused by a fungus that is closely related to the fungi that are responsible for ringworm and athlete’s foot. There are further underlying mechanisms that are also at play, which include the development of fungus-free lesions on the skin caused by a fungal infection on yet another part of the body. The visual manifestations of the fungal infection are the partial loss of the nail itself. The disease largely occurs in the toenail but can possibly affect the fingernails as well.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus

The diagnosis and treatment of a toenail fungus is long, convoluted and sometimes even painful. This is because diagnosis involves the elimination of other sources of the problem like nail psoriasis, tumors, lymphedema in the nails, and contact dermatitis. The most proven method is a culture sample of nail clippings and sometimes even repeated nail plate biopsies. The class of fungus that grows on the skin pathogenically is called dermatophytes and toenail fungus come under this category. Candida yeast can also cause onychomycosis. There are some variations in symptoms of onychomycosis. These variations in symptoms reflect the type of fungus that has invaded the nail. One type of fungus will penetrate the nail bed, the underside of the nail plate, and infect it. Yet another type of symptom is the fungal invasion of the superficial layer of the nail causing white spots to appear. Another type of symptom is the invasion of the start of the nail where the nail is being newly formed – usually occurring in immuno-compromised patients. The last type of symptom is where there is a preexisting trauma point on the nail where a candida fungus then colonizes.

The most difficult part of treating the infection is penetrating the nail bed where the fungus exists. There is a high degree of dependence on oral antifungal treatments that include drugs like griseofulvin, itraconazole, and other antifungal treatments and topical applications. Treatment periods can sometimes last more than a year. A home remedy for this condition can mimic this very same effect with the use of garlic as the antifungal remedy to be taken orally and tea tree oil as the antifungal to be taken topically. There is unconfirmed evidence that grape fruit seed extract has some potency against the fungus as well. Dipping one’s feet in milk or using a liquid dropper to apply milk on the area could also prove useful as the bacteria in milk can create a fungus-unfriendly environment.