There’s a lot of things that can affect your feet, whether it be athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails or foot pain. The most annoying (although not always painful) foot problem is -by far- nail fungus!
Anyone who’s ever experienced it before knows how hard it can be to get rid of this fungal infection. Nail fungus is tedious, embarrassing and just plain difficult to deal with! However, this simple foot soak, along with the lifestyle recommendations bellow, can help you get rid of that nasty infection once and for all.
What Is Nail Fungus ?
According to the Mayo Clinic, nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail.
As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. The condition typically affects toe nails.
Over time, it can cause pain and spread to other nails and onto your skin. Even if you cure it successfully, the fungus can come back.
How To Treat Nail Fungus
Vinegar has been a popular, non-invasive way to treat nail fungus for the last few centuries. It’s quite acidic, which is how it kills fungus, but it will need to be diluted not to irritate the skin.
You Will Need:
- One basin large enough for your feet
- Warm water (as hot as you can handle)
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- Several cups of apple cider vinegar
- First, add the apple cider vinegar and water to the basin in a ratio of 1 cup of vinegar for every 2 cups of water. Make sure that the mixture covers your nails.
- Allow your feet to soak for about twenty minutes.
- Dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel.
- Empty, rinse, and dry the basin.
- Fill the basin again with warm water, making sure that the water covers your feet and nails.
- Add about a half cup of baking soda to the water and mix.
- Soak your feet for another fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Dry your feet thoroughly with a fresh, clean, towel.
- Repeat several times per day as needed.
You should always keep your nails and cuticles trimmed, cleaning your nail clippers or scissors before and after each use. It’s also a good idea to brush nails with tea tree oil every day to help fight fungus in between treatments.
How To Avoid Getting It Again
1. Clean your nail clippers and foot hygiene tools (1). Hydrogen peroxide works well for that.
If you paint your toes, throw out your nail polish and refrain from pedicures until a few months after your nail has fully healed.
2. Clean all your shoes, sandals and boots: Dish soap and hot water works for most materials, but you can also use antibacterial shoe spray (equal parts water and vinegar works well) or shoe powder.
3. Always wear clean socks: If your toe nail fungus was particularly bad, you might want to wash all your socks and pantyhose separately to make sure they aren’t contaminated.
4. Wash your feet: If you are prone to toe nail fungus or athlete’s foot, take some extra time in the shower to wash your toes. You may also benefit from weekly relaxing foot soaks and monthly preventive vinegar soaks.
5. Keep your feet dry & clean: Choose socks that wick moisture away. Change them regularly and make sure your shoes fit well. They should be made of something that lets air move through it, like canvas, mesh, or leather. Also, make sure to wear shower shoes in wet public places like locker rooms and swimming pools.
Toe fungus is annoying and embarrassing. If you find yourself unable to control your foot health on your own, book an appointment with a dermatologist or a podiatrist to get some extra help.