What Causes Toe Fungus And Possible Home Made Remedies
Toe fungus is a very common foot problem affecting a sizable percentage of every population. About 2 out of every 10 people are affected by toe fungus, according to studies. Fungus infection is not just a problem of the foot, it also affects hands and other body parts including internal organs e.g yeast infection that affects the vagina.
Toe fungus can manifest either as toenail fungus or athlete’s foot. They are both very popular – toenail fungus affects the toenail mainly but can also spread to the surrounding skin. Athlete’s foot mainly affects the skin area between the toes. They are both responsible for over 50 percent of toe problems; other problems include curved toenails, ingrown toenails, etc.
Toenail fungus begins subtly as a spot beneath the tip of the nail and could quickly develop to cause nail discoloration, thickening, crumbling, as well as brittle nails. It affects both the color and structure of the nail. Toenail fungus, toe fungus generally, could be a sign of more serious underlying health issues such as diabetes. It, therefore, requires prompt treatment.
Causes of toe/toenail fungus
· Age: as we age, the toenails (as well as fingernails) usually undergo some normal fundamental changes e.g. become thicker and drier. Some of these fundamental changes present potential breeding grounds for several infections. For instance, dry nails develop cracks where fungus and bacteria can thrive. In addition to this, the immune system gets weaker with age and blood flow to the extremities is reduced hence the natural ability of the body to fight infections is compromised.
· Underlying health issues: diseases such as diabetes weakens or suppresses the immune system, compromising the body’s potency in fighting off infections. Therefore, any infection such as fungus infection that perches on the body has a higher tendency of thriving.
· Artificial nails or nail polish: though artificial nails and nail polishes are gorgeous, they have several downsides. Most nail polishes have toxic chemicals that could compromise the health of the nail, exposing it to infections such as toenail fungus. Similarly, artificial nails expose nails to several problems.
· Lifestyle: this is a key player in the picture of the causes of toe fungus. Failure to embrace good or proper nail hygiene, such as keeping the nail clean and short as well as not sharing nail tools, raises the chances of fungus thriving around the toes. Walking barefoot in public places such as a locker room or community swimming pool also raises the chances of having toe fungus. Diet is also a key part of the lifestyle – diets that do not help to maintain a healthy level of the immune system exposes you to infections hence the need to pay attention to what you eat.
· Sweaty foot: fungus thrives in moist and warm environments hence sweaty foot presents a perfect habitat for toe fungus. Try to keep your toes as dry as possible – using antifungal powder will help to absorb the moisture hence keep the feet dry.
· Old shoes: these are great breeding grounds for toe fungus. Dispose of old shoes or disinfect them properly if you must still use them.
· History of athlete’s foot: anyone who has had cases of athlete’s foot in 0the past will most likely have a recurrence.
· Family history: if your parents or grandparents have cases of athlete’s foot or toenail fungus, you have a higher tendency of having toe fungus hence you must watch your lifestyle.
Why you may need a Lifestyle Change
All the causes of toe fungus discussed above are connected to the lifestyle of individuals. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your lifestyle especially if you or your family has a history of toe fungus.
Treatment of Toe Fungus
Treatment of toenail fungus is a quite challenging one. Typically, the treatment will last a few months even with the most effective treatments. Yet, the rate of recurrence is high.
Some of the very effective treatment options are unfortunately with side effects that could be as serious as damages to internal organs. Medications fall in this category hence doctors first run tests to ensure patients' safety. Over-the-counter products and home remedies are safer options though they may not work as fast medications.
· Rubbing Alcohol: Various health research has been able to prove Alcohol is effective in the treatment of toenail fungus as well as fingernail fungus. This is because of the antiseptic qualities of alcohol. However this is only effective if the fungus is still at it very early stage. To apply this method, you need to soak wool with alcohol and rub it on the affected area or nail. You need to do this 3-5 times daily ( ideally after washing your toenail thoroughly and using nail brush to remove all dirts that may be hiding under your nail bed ).
· Tea tree oil: this is an essential oil loaded with antifungal properties. It has components that destroy key components of fungus hence inhibiting the growth and ultimately eradicating the fungus. It is very powerful hence should be diluted properly with a carrier oil to avoid skin reactions.
· Vicks Vaporub: this is a very effective treatment option for toe fungus. It can be easily purchased from any store and be used after proper preparation of the affected areas.
· Coconut oil: this is a very common household ingredient loaded with therapeutic benefits. It is used in the treatment of a wide range of health issues. It is rich in antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties hence is a perfect treatment option for toe fungus. It can be used both internally and externally. It can also be combined with other treatment options for greater effectiveness.
· Ginger: this is another very common household item with amazing antifungal properties. It can be used in four formats – garlic cloves, garlic oil, crushed garlic, and garlic powder. All of them will deliver similar outcomes if used properly.
Toe fungus is a very popular problem that is caused by a number of factors that border on lifestyle. Making adjustments to lifestyle may significantly reduce the tendency of developing toe fungus.