Toenail Fungus – Yuck! – Public DomainFrustrated by embarrassing toenail fungus? Mild to moderate fungal infections can be successfully improved by daily applications of plain white vinegar.
White vinegar is a common household product with a wide range of uses, from cleaning to pickling to making salad dressing. many people may not realize that vinegar is also a potent anti-fungal agent. in this article, a method of treating stubborn toenail fungus with vinegar will be outlined.
Causes and Conventional Treatments
Onychomycosis, commonly known as nail fungus, is the most common disease affecting human nails. while cases of fingernail infection do exist, nail fungus most commonly affects the toenails. Between six and eight percent of the adult population suffers from nail fungus, mostly in the toenails. as you can see, people affected by this potentially embarrassing problem have a lot of company.
Toenail fungus is caused by fungi called dermatophytes, as well as the Candida fungus and certain types of mold. the most common type of dermatophyte is known as Trichophton rubrum. this fungus is generally acquired by exposure to damp environments, as it prefers heat and humidity.
Conventional treatments for toenail fungus include oral drugs which can be hard on the liver, as well as prescription topical products which can be very expensive. For some moderate to severe infections, these treatments may be appropriate and necessary. For less severe problems, however, the answer may be as close as the kitchen cabinet, in the form of plain white vinegar.
Treatment with Vinegar
Like other fungi, the dermatophytes which cause toenail fungus infections have difficulty surviving in an acidic environment. this is the basis for using vinegar as a natural treatment, as vinegar contains acetic acid, a mild but effective anti-fungal agent, as well as smaller amounts of other acids. in addition, vinegar is easily absorbed into the nail, allowing its active ingredients to penetrate to the nail bed, where the infection lives.
To treat toenail fungus with vinegar, generous amounts of plain white household vinegar should be applied to the affected toenail(s) approximately two times per day until a healthy nail has replaced the infection, or indefinitely if improvement is not accompanied by full remission. this can be accomplished by soaking the nail in vinegar for 30 seconds to one minute, or by using an applicator (such as a cotton swab) to "paint" vinegar onto the nail. the nail should be allowed to air-dry before replacing socks and footwear.
Based on a wide variety of anecdotal reports, it is apparent that some infections respond quite well and rapidly to vinegar treatment, while others do not. more severe infections may require more aggressive treatment, but in many cases, improvement will be seen within the first week or two. Successful treatment with vinegar may reduce discoloration as well as thickness. If the nail is excessively thick, it may be advisable to gently file it before each application of vinegar.
As with all natural remedies, this method of treatment is not intended to replace or substitute for the advice of any health professional. unfortunately, many people avoid seeking any treatment at all for their toenail fungus, hoping that it will simply go away. the infection generally will not go away on its own.
For people who are hesitant to seek other forms of treatment, vinegar may be a helpful way to improve the condition of infected nails. It is easy, inexpensive, and readily available. as always, talk to a health care professional before using any natural remedy if you are concerned about its effects.
Best wishes for clear and healthy nails!
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