Fungal infection the most commonly affects big toe and little toe finger, but can also be found on other toes and fingers. The causes of the fungal infections are usually Dermatophytes (a group of fungus). Toenail fungus is known as onychomychosis and causes change of the nail and its color. The infection is contagious, and might spread from the toe to other parts of the body. Some people could be genetically predisposed for fungal infections.
The toe infected with fungus changes the color, becomes yellow, green or brown. It might get really thick and overgrown and even crumble or fall off. Sometimes, the infection causes unpleasant smell or sots on the side of the nails.
Damp in public spaces, such as gym, showers or swimming pools may contain the fungus and infect your nails. Athletes, people who don’t dry their feet completely after the bathing and those who wear tight socks or shoes have greater risk of catching the fungal infection than others. Weakened immune system and misbalance in skin's pH could also lead to fungal infections of the nails. Sometimes, sharing the shoes with other people might transfer the fungal infection to your foot.
Tea tree oil should be applied to the infected nail every day. This essential oil is an excellent antiseptic and fungicide (it kills the fungus).
You could use lavender oil and tea tree oil to treat the fungus. Put some of the mixture on a cotton ball and apply to the nail. These oils should be used several times a day to cure the infection.
Use a table spoon of olive oil and add 2 drops of oregano essential oil. The mixture should be used every day up to three weeks.
Use same amounts of apple cider vinegar and water, mixed them and soak your toes. Leave them for 15 to 20 minutes and then dry your feet completely and thoroughly.
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) creams could help to prevent the fungus infection, if used before bedtime, on your feet and toe nails.
Listerine mouthwash might also be helpful. Soaking the toes into the liquid might improve the condition.
Diet may be helpful to fight the fungus nail infection. Specialists suggest the use of probiotics, such as yogurt and kefir, and avoidance of sugar, vinegar and dairy products. Always wash your feet after using the public spas or showers and dry them completely every time. Wear cotton socks, and do not share your shoes or towels with anyone. Keep your nail short and avoid nail polish. These precautions will reduce the risk of fungal infection to minimum.