Toenail fungus, medically referred to as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects both men and women of all ages. Most people suffering from this condition do not realize that their daily habits lead to the infection. Most people tend to wear their socks and shoes right after taking a shower without properly drying their feet. With time, the moisture content raises providing ideal conditions for the development of toenail fungus. The good news is that this condition is treatable and can easily be managed using home remedies like coconut oil.
How Can You Tell You Have Toenail Fungus
Basically, an infection will start from the skin beneath the toenail or from the nail bed. During the early stages of infection, you will notice the appearance of yellow or white speck on or inside the nail. If not caught early, the infection continues to spread causing deformation of the nail structure and slight pain. The infection can get severe if not treated right away and spreads across the toe. At this point, the patient will experience discomfort and severe pain in the whole toe.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Toe Nail Fungus?
Not everyone is prone to toenail fungus. Due to a variety of reasons, some people are often at a higher chance of growth of the fungus than others. It is believed that people with weaker immune systems are at a higher risk of catching the infection from someone else as well as developing the infection than those with stronger immunity.
Hygiene plays a very big role if one needs to avoid this type of infection, including all types of skin infections. Neglecting proper cleaning and wearing dirty socks raises the risk of an onychomycosis attack. Dermatologists have confirmed that having wet toenails can also cause toenail infection. Contamination, increased humidity and other factors do aggravate the infections to the worst state. This is why it is important to seek treatment early enough once one notices the symptoms of infection.
Early Stages and Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus usually starts as a small stinge, mostly yellow or white in color. It remains static for some time before spreading to the rest of the nail. At this point, the nail begins to get brittle, rugged and dark as the infection worsens. At advanced stages, the nail eventually separates from the nail bed and when the infection spreads to the maximum, the nail falls off. It is advisable to manage the infection when it is in its initial stages to stop it from spreading further. You can either try verified ways to manage the infection or seek medical attention from a doctor.
Coconut Oil For Treating Toenail Fungus
Treating toenail fungus, especially in cases of people with low immunity, can be really hard. However, home remedies like coconut oil have been proven to be effective for treating toenail fungus. Coconut oil contains anti-fungal properties that when applied, they get to the root of infection stopping it. Before using coconut oil to treat toenail infections, it is important to know how to apply it the right way.
How To Apply Coconut Oil To A Fungal Nail Infection
If you have tried applying coconut oil to an infected toenail and you did not see any results, it means you did it the wrong way. To successfully apply coconut oil to the infected toenail, follow these instructions carefully:
- Clean your foot thoroughly and dry it off completely before you start
- If the coconut oil is in a solid state, take a small amount and place it in your hands to warm it up
- Use the oil to massage over the infected nail bed area
- Massage around the cuticle using little force so that it does not hurt
- Fix a bandage over the affected area (recommended during night time)
It is advisable to ingest some of the coconut oil as well. Through direct application and ingestion, there is a great success rate for fungus removal. If the affected toenail has cracked skin or nail, apply the coconut oil at regular intervals for a longer time. Do this as many times in a day as possible for quicker and better results.
How To Choose A Good Quality Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is popular due to its numerous benefits. The demand for coconut oil is high and as consequence, there are numerous types and brands of this oil in the market. It is important to choose the right oil when treating your toenail fungus. Which is the best? Always go for the virgin coconut oil.
Virgin oils are unrefined. This means that the oil still has its natural nutrients and antioxidant properties which are effective at fighting infection. The oils are made immediately after the coconut husks are removed which increases their efficacy. Avoid hydrogenated coconut oil, especially if you plan to ingest it too.
How To Avoid Infections In Future
To speed up your treatment and also avoid suffering from fungal nail infection in the future, you need to follow these tips:
- Wear clean socks every day
- Change your socks after carrying out any physical activity that causes you to sweat
- During rainy days, keep your feet dry and if you get wet, remove your socks and dry your feet
- Do not share nail clipping tools and wipe them with alcohol after use
- Spray the interior of your shoes with disinfectant spray
- To avoid moisture build-up in your feet, apply antifungal powder
- Wear slippers and sandals around the house
- Air your feet regularly