Health & Wellbeing

Causes and treatments for nail fungus

By Anna Sawkins

Feb 23, 2022

Causes and treatments for nail fungus

What is Nail Fungus?

Nails can become infected with fungus at the nail plate, bed or root. The fungus spreads over time leading to discolouration, thickening and crumbling at the nail edges and pain. Many people become embarrassed by the condition and therefore try to keep their feet or nails out of sight either by wearing closed shoes in hot weather or by covering nails with polishes and products. Unfortunately, this only serves to compound the problem, since fungus thrives in warm, damp environments.

What Causes Fungal Nail Infection?

The most common fungi that cause fungal nail infections are dermatophyte fungi (also associated with athlete’s foot) and candida and thrush infections). You are more likely to suffer from fungal nail infection if your feet get very hot and sweaty, due to environment or exercise. Also, damage to the nail or skin through injury or ill-fitting shoes can leave your feet susceptible. Health conditions that affect the immune system can increase risk of infection e.g. psoriasis or diabetes.

Treating a Fungal Nail Infection

Antifungal tablets and lacquers are available that can treat fungal nail infection. Many people find that they try a number of over-the-counter items at a high expense before attending their G.P. for stronger prescription antifungals. Unfortunately, many of these medicines have dangerous side effects.

How Oregano Oil Can Help

A high quality, high potency, oregano oil such as can fight bacteria and fungi. It contains the phenols carvacrol and thymol that have been shown to be effective in inhibiting the growth of candida albicans and dermatophytes. Carvacrol and thymol are highly powerful antimicrobials, and many people have found them to be more effective than many prescription medications.

How to treat fungal nail infection with Oregano Oil

  • Trim away as much of the infected nail as you can using a good pair of nail scissors or clippers, being careful not to break the skin
  • Using a new nail file (never re-use a nail file when you have fungal nail) file down any infected part of the nail that you were unable to trim away
  • Drop 2-3 droplets of oregano oil on to the infected nail. Do not do this if the skin is broken as it will burn.
  • Treat the infected nail with a few drops of oregano oil 2-3 times every day, trimming and filing the nail as necessary.

Nails, particularly toenails, can take a long time to grow back so it may take months of treatment to fully remove the fungus. However, if you persevere a new healthy nail will grow and replace the infected nail.

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