There are circumstances in which home remedies are not an option. If you have a weakened immune system or suffer from diabetes, a fungal infection of your fingernails or toenails could put you at risk for a more serious infection complicated by your underlying disorder. If you fall into this category, see your doctor immediately [source: Mayo Clinic].
Home Remedies for Nail Fungus
If you're a do-it-yourself kind of person and plan to take the home-remedy route to rooting out your nail fungus, here are some commonly suggested home solutions that people have tried, typically applying them to their infected nails over the course of a few to several months:
- Vinegar and water
- Listerine and vinegar
- Vicks VapoRub
- Oil of oregano
- Tea tree oil
There are two things that all of these treatments have in common. The first is that their advocates describe it taking a few months to see results. This timeframe is compatible with prescribed medications [source: Graedon]. The fact is that fungus is hard to kill and nails are slow to respond to treatment. The second thing they all have in common is that they are anecdotal -- meaning that there is no research proving that they work. So try them at your own risk. Keep in mind that if they don't work, your infection may grow worse and will be harder to cure if and when you do decide to see a doctor [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you really don't want to end up at the doctor, probably the best home remedy is prevention. To keep your nails fungus-free, try to keep your feet dry by wearing open-toed shoes or by using moisture-absorbing socks and changing your socks often. Wearing flip-flops in public showers and not going barefoot in public places are other easy ways to keep fungus as bay [source: Mayo Clinic].
To learn more about nail fungus, browse through the links on the next page.