A fungal infection of the toenail is also known ringworm, and is characterized by a yellow, deformed and thickened nail. The infection is fairly common and primarily affects adolescents and adults. During a medical examination, to diagnose toenail fungus, a physician would likely order a microbial culture to accurately determine the diagnosis. The disorder can be treated topically with antifungal herbs that have been shown to treat symptoms effectively, according to website HolisticOnline.com 13. Get a medical opinion regarding the use of topical antifungal herbs prior to using them to treat the disorder.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal herb that treats a variety of infections including toenail fungus, according to HolisticOnline.com 13. Tea tree oil can also bolster the body's immune system, which can help fight fungal infections and prevent their recurrence. The oil can be applied to the nail externally and should be diluted with a gentler medium, such as almond oil, for toenail fungus sufferers with sensitive skin.
Neem Oil & Nail Fungus
The clove tree grows indigenously in tropical area including the Spice Islands, the Philippines and India. Traditionally, clove oil has long been used to treat ringworm, as well as other fungal infections. For temporary relief of toenail fungus, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the affected nail and surrounding skin, according to HolisticOnline.com 13. Discontinue use if signs of irritation appear.
- The clove tree grows indigenously in tropical area including the Spice Islands, the Philippines and India.
- For temporary relief of toenail fungus, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the affected nail and surrounding skin, according to HolisticOnline.com 1.
Fresh garlic contains allicin, which reportedly has antifungal properties that fight against ringworm infections, including toenail fungus. Some reports have shown that garlic may help treat fungal skin conditions, such as Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 2. To treat a toenail fungal infection, it is recommended that an oil or salve made from garlic essential oil is applied topically to the site of infection. Repeated applications are necessary to prevent recurrence. Discontinue use if skin irritation results.
- Fresh garlic contains allicin, which reportedly has antifungal properties that fight against ringworm infections, including toenail fungus.
- Some reports have shown that garlic may help treat fungal skin conditions, such as Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 2.
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- HolisticOnline.com: Tea Tree
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Garlic
- HolisticOnline.com: Clove
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Onychomycosis. Updated August 2017.
- Blutfield MS, Lohre JM, Pawich DA, Vlahovic TC. The immunologic response to Trichophyton rubrum in lower extremity fungal infections. J Fungi (Basel). 2015;1(2):130–137. doi:10.3390/jof1020130
- Ghannoum M, Isham N. Fungal nail infections (onychomycosis): A never-ending story?. PLoS Pathog. 2014;10(6):e1004105. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004105
- Zang K, Sullivan R, Shanks S. A retrospective study of non-thermal laser therapy for the treatment of toenail onychomycosis. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(5):24-30.
- Park KY, Suh JH, Kim BJ, Kim MN, Hong CK. Randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with short-pulsed 1,064-nm neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser and amorolfine nail lacquer for onychomycosis. Ann Dermatol. 2017;29(6):699-705. doi:10.5021/ad.2017.29.6.699
- Shirwaikar AA, Thomas T, Shirwaikar A, Lobo R, Prabhu KS. Treatment of onychomycosis: An update. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2008 Nov-Dec; 70(6): 710–714. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.49088
Based in Richmond, Va., Tara Carson has written articles for editorial and corporate online and print publications for more than 10 years. She has experience as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Northwest Christian University and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University.