Fungal infection of the toenail is called toenail fungus or onychomycosis. It is characterized by the discoloration of one or more toenails. This infection is highly contagious and may cause the thickening or cracking of nails. A type of mold, which is called dermatophyte, causes tinea unguium. A dermatophyte is a mold that uses keratin, a protein needed for the mold to survive and procreate.
This fungus usually targets the toenails, but there are cases in which the fingernails are also affected. The infection of dermatophyte happens when it is in direct contact with the toenails. The fungi will now get between the toenail and its bed. It usually starts to appear discolored; the nails will thicken and crack.
Toenail fungus is common, but some people are at higher risk. These are people who have athlete’s foot, diabetes, hyperhidrosis, blood circulation disease, psoriasis, and those suffering from nail injury and a weakened immune system.
Fortunately, there are various ways to treat toenail fungus, including home remedies. Here are some home remedies to treat toenail fungus.
Snakeroot or senega snakeroot is a perennial herb that appears to be unbranching and grows for about 30 cm. from the base. The leaves of this plant are small and have a greenish-white flower. This plant is traditionally used for treating snakebites in North America, including curing earaches, toothaches, croup, colds, and sore throats. Snakeroot acts as an expectorant that clears mucus in cough syrups. It can also be found in teas, lozenges, and gargles for sore throats.
Snakeroot extract has antifungal properties. Its effectiveness is comparable to most topical antifungal creams bought over the counter. Due to this property, snakeroot extract has been used to cure toenail fungus. Its efficiency lies in its active ingredients, which are at par with the antifungal medication called ciclopirox. Ciclopirox is a known ointment used to treat various foot diseases.
The treatment of snakeroot is divided into three stages. During the first month, the extract is applied to the infected nails every three days. Then, the extract is applied twice weekly for the second month, and finally, during the third and fourth months, the extract is limitedly applied once a week.