If you’re plagued with white or yellow spots under your toenails, you may have toenail fungus. And, if it runs deeper, nail fungus could discolor, thicken and even distort your nail. But before you grab prescription meds, you’d better think twice. The risks involved in taking oral meds could be devastating. Instead, why not try a natural remedy to rid your toenail fungus? You may even have a useful ingredient right in your kitchen cabinet.
Fungal nail infections are spreading
Toenail fungus can be frightening, painful and embarrassing, but you’re not alone. Fungal nail infections are extremely common and very easy to catch. They’re caused by several different types of yeasts or molds that live in the environment, says the CDC, usually entering through small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin.
You may have nail fungus — also called onychomycosis — if one or more of your toenails have become thick, brittle, crumbly at the edge, distorted in shape, dull with no shine, or darkened from build-up under the nail. Infected nails can also separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis. If this happens, you’ll feel pain in your toes and even detect a slightly funky odor.
If you’re not sure how you caught this unsightly infection, think pool deck, locker room or even walking barefoot in the same area as someone else harboring toenail fungus. Wearing the same old pair of sweaty shoes or boots every day could also be the cause, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology.
Your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal drug that you would normally take for six to 12 weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Side effects from these medications could include trouble breathing and swelling of the mouth or face. They could even give you hives, rashes, blisters and headaches. Or, you could experience dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, liver damage, weight gain, fatigue, heart problems, fever and diarrhea. Phew! That is a lot of side effects just to rid yourself of nasty toe fungus. Here are some natural remedies you may want to try first.