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Neem Oil & Nail Fungus

By Corinna Underwood ; Updated July 18, 2017

Nail fungus can occur in the finger nails or toe nails. It can be irritating and unsightly, but is relatively easy to cure. Neem oil, the essential oil extracted from the neem tree, is often recommended as a treatment for nail fungus.

Fungi

The Mayo Clinic, described fungi as microscopic organism that are able to survive without sunlight. The fungi that infect the nail bed of your toes and fingers are called dermatophytes. This type of fungi thrives in warm, damp environments and most often infect the toe nails for this reason. Dermatophytes live in showers and swimming pools and can enter your skin through tiny cuts or by getting under your nail.

Nail Fungus Signs and Symptoms

Nail fungus can occur on the finger or toenails. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is caused when fungi infects the bed of one or more of your nails. The fungus may begin as a small white spot at the edge of your nail. As it grows, it can cause more discoloration a thickening and crumbling of the nail. The nail bed can become very sore and if left untreated the nail may fall off.

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Neem Oil

Neem oil is an essential oil derived from the neem tree. The tree is native to India and is related to the mahogany. According to the Neem Foundation, neem oil contains a number of active constituents with medicinal uses including: fever, cough, loss of appetite, skin disorders, diabetes and healing wounds.

Neem Oil and Nail Fungus

According to Toe Nail Fungus Info, medical practitioners in India have been using neem oil for decades to treat more than 60 different types of fungus, including nail fungus. Neem is applied to the affected area several times each day until the infection has cleared.

Warnings

According to the University of Michigan Health System, neem oil should be kept out of the reach of children due to the risk of Reye's syndrome-like symptoms and possible fatality if consumed. Neem should be avoided during pregnancy and breast feeding as there have not been any studies conducted to prove its safety. There are currently no-known drug contraindications with neem. You should consult your physician before using neem oil. Neem oil has a strong and unpleasant odor.

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