Toenail fungus. The mere term is enough to evoke shudders of horror. To people who don't have it, it's a source of fear. For those who do, it's an embarrassment. With summertime fast approaching, something needs to be done if you don't want to be forced to keep your feet hidden from sight.
Luckily, we've got you covered. Here are 5+ ideas to try at home if you'd rather avoid seeing a doctor:
1. Vicks VapoRub
Vicks VapoRub, which is known for its many useful properties, has been found to improve onychomycosis (another word for the ailment). Apply some of the ointment daily with a cotton swab.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda's alkaline properties counteract the acidic properties of fungus and while it cannot fight it, it will absolutely help limit and contain it.
Do a daily soak in a bowl with 4 or 5 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar mixed into water.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar never ceases to impress with its multitude of hidden uses. Its acidity can help kill bacteria and growths.
Like the above concoction but with a much higher amount of vinegar (a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water), an apple cider vinegar soak can do wonders for your toes. Mixing a few spoons of apple cider vinegar with coarsely ground rice flour can provide a paste that will be equally useful if rubbed onto the affected area, the website says.
4. Listerine mouthwash
Mouthwash has a similar effect on toes as it does on the inside of your mouth — it's there to kill bacteria and freshen things up, Top 10 Home Remedies explains. The alcohol included in mouthwash can help drive fungus away. A daily 30-minute soak of Listerine mouthwash, or of a 1:1 ratio of mouthwash and white vinegar, might work.
Garlic, thanks to the allicin and ajoene compounds found within, is one of them. Apply a mixture of garlic oil and vinegar to the area and keep it in place with a bandage. Eating garlic helps as well.
6. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is another option: Like with the garlic, apply it to the infected area and leave it for a while. Combining it with olive oil can also help soften the skin.