Toenail fungus is a severe infection that’s characterized by thickening and discoloration of the nails. Since the feet are mostly warm and a little damp, they create a suitable environment for the fungi to breed.
If left unattended, toenail fungus can cause excruciating pain and affect your ability to wear closed shoes. So, it is essential to seek treatment immediately.
Toenail Fungus Symptoms
Toenail fungus, also called onychomychosis, usually starts as a white or yellow spot just under the edge of the toenail. As it spreads, it may cause the nail to become discolored, thicken and develop coarse edges.
The toenail fungus can be difficult to treat, persist indefinitely and return after it has been cured. While it is not normally dangerous, it can be painful, cause unsightly nails and lead to foot problems such as ingrown toenails for people with diabetes or other conditions that affect blood flow.
Nails infected with toenail fungus also may separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis. This may be accompanied by toe pain and a slightly foul odor.
Starting as a yellow or white spot just under the edge of the toenail, the fungus (also called onychomychosis) starts spreading under the nail.
One of the most effective forms of treatment for toenail fungus is the use of essential oils. When used in a topical formulation, essential oils provide a safe and effective treatment for toenail fungus.
They possess a complex variety of compounds which easily penetrate the nail, kill the fungi, and inhibit their growth. They also have soothing sensations that help relieve the pain associated with this condition.
The Best Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
Different essential oils come with varying benefits. However, there are some, whose properties are particularly useful in curing and inhibiting toenail fungus, including:
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil has very powerful natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, thanks to terpenin-4-ol. The compound has been shown to kill and inhibit the growth of dermatophytes, the pathogenic fungi that are responsible for causing toenail fungus.
Tea tree oil also contains compounds that help soothe and relieve the pain that comes from the infection.
Oregano Essential Oil
Like other essential oils, Oregano has potent antibacterial properties and it is often cited as an excellent solution for fungal infections.
It is known to destroy a wide range of fungi including Candida albicans and many dermatophytes.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme oil is endowed with thymol compound which is not only a highly celebrated antiseptic but also very effective against nail fungus.
What’s more, past studies have shown that thymol can get rid of Candida, which is a common cause of toenail fungus.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon oil, derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree, contains a compound known as Eugenol. The compound has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help kill fungi and bacteria and prevent a re-infection.
Cinnamon oil also comes with an added benefit: it helps dry the affected area, making it unfavorable for fungi to thrive.
Lemon Essential oil
Lemon has natural antiseptic and antifungal features. It is well absorbed by the skin and nails, which means that it can easily get rid of fungal infections beneath the nails. If your nails are sensitive, it is best to dilute lemon with a carrier oil before applying it.
Peppermint Essential Oil
This is another essential oil with great antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an excellent remedy for toenail fungus. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that soothe any swelling or pain in the affected area.
Like lemon essential oil, people with any sort of sensitivity should dilute peppermint with a suitable carrier oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Yet another strong remedy in your arsenal. So potent, it’s worth covering in this separate article.
As you can see, essential oils are worth giving a try if you want to clear toenail fungus and improve the health of your feet and nails.
Use essential oils directly on the affected area on a daily basis until the infection clears completely.
You can also continue to use the oils for aromatherapy to improve foot health and keep toenail fungus and other foot infections at bay.