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Once fungus implants itself on your nail, it begins to grow and to overtake the entire surface. If not treated properly, nail fungus can be resistant and permanent. Multiple home remedies are available to combat the problem. Two treatments that have received good reviews are tea tree oil, which has an antibiotic effect on the skin, and camphor and menthol ointments, like Vicks VapoRub, Mentholatum or Tiger Balm. It is always best to consult with your health care provider before using a home remedy instead of clinical treatment.
Nail fungus, a common ailment, regularly appears more on the toes than the fingers. It is often transferred from wet areas, such as salons, spas, and gyms. MayoClinic.com cites symptoms that include yellow nail color, thicker nails, and easily breakable nails. Nail fungus can require many weeks of treatment before being cured.
- Nail fungus, a common ailment, regularly appears more on the toes than the fingers.
- MayoClinic.com cites symptoms that include yellow nail color, thicker nails, and easily breakable nails.
Tea Tree Oil
Herbs for Toenail Fungus
According to the University of Western Australia, tea tree oil comes from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Australia 1. The plant’s tacky leaves produce the oil. Tea tree oil is considered highly medicinal and antimicrobial. The University of Western Australia reports that the component in the plant with the antibiotic property is terpenen-4-ol, which makes up 30 percent of the oil 1. Dark bottles preserve tea tree oil’s quality, therefore when purchasing tea tree oil be sure to look for appropriate packaging.
Tea Tree Oil to Treat Nail Fungus
Tea tree oil contains antifungal qualities that aid in defeating nail fungus. When applied to the nail, it cleanses and fights the infection. According to the Health 911 website, in order to conquer the fungus, you will need to apply the oil to the area two times a day, until a new nail has grown out completely 2. The oil should be applied for up to 6 months for a fingernail and up to12 months for a toenail. The best product will contain 100 percent tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil contains antifungal qualities that aid in defeating nail fungus.
- When applied to the nail, it cleanses and fights the infection.
Vicks VapoRub & Toenail Fungus
According to 3Dchem website, camphor is a clear, waxy substance with a strong, stinky smell. It is found in the bark of the camphor laurel, an evergreen tree in Asia, or can be synthetically produced from the oil of turpentine. It serves many medicinal purposes when applied to the skin. Once in contact with the skin, camphor cools it and serves as an anesthetic.
- According to 3Dchem website, camphor is a clear, waxy substance with a strong, stinky smell.
- It is found in the bark of the camphor laurel, an evergreen tree in Asia, or can be synthetically produced from the oil of turpentine.
Camphor Ointments to treat Nail Fungus
Vicks VapoRub, Mentholatum and Tiger Balm are all home remedies for treating nail fungus. Apply it to the affected nail for two or three weeks. While not clinically proven to help nail fungus, many reports agree that it does destroy the infection on your nails in a short amount of time.
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- The University of Western Australia: UWA Tea Tree Oil Research Group
- Health 911: Toe Nail Fungus
- Shirwaikar AA, Thomas T, Shirwaikar A, Lobo R, Prabhu KS. Treatment of onychomycosis: an update. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008;70(6):710-4. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.49088
- Syed TA, Qureshi ZA, Ali SM, Ahmad S, Ahmad SA. Treatment of toenail onychomycosis with 2% butenafine and 5% Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil in cream. Trop Med Int Health. 1999 Apr;4(4):284-7. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3156.1999.00396.x
- Buck DS, Nidorf DM, Addino JG. Comparison of two topical preparations for the treatment of onychomycosis: Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and clotrimazole. J Fam Pract. 1994 Jun;38(6):601-5.
- Chee HY, Lee MH. Antifungal activity of clove essential oil and its volatile vapour against dermatophytic fungi. Mycobiology. 2007;35(4):241-3. doi:10.4489/MYCO.2007.35.4.241
- Gayoso CW, Lima EO, Oliveira VT, Pereira FO, Souza EL, Lima IO, Navarro DF. Sensitivity of fungi isolated from onychomycosis to Eugenia cariophyllata essential oil and eugenol. Fitoterapia. 2005 Mar;76(2):247-9. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2004.12.005
- National Institutes of Health. "Fungal nail infection: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". June 2011.
Based in Boulder City, Nev., Tara Thackeray began writing in 2008 for a national law review website. Her work has been published on the BARBRI website and she also contributes humorous articles on her blog. Thackeray holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Arizona State University.