Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, occurs when fungi infect one or more toenails. A toenail fungus infection can be painful and ugly. If left untreated the infection may lead to permanent nail damage or the infection may spread throughout your body. Vinegar cures are popular natural remedies for a toenail fungus infection.
Natural health treatments using vinegar have been documented throughout history. In ancient China vinegar was used to prevent, and treat, the spread of viral diseases. Greek history documents the use of vinegar for many medicinal purposes. Hippocrates prescribed a vinegar and honey mixture to cure coughs and colds. In the American Civil War apple cider vinegar was used as an antiseptic.
Common causes of toenail fungus infections are exposure to wet, dark environments, not taking proper precautions in a public environment and inappropriate footwear.
In a moist environment, fungus can be easily passed from one person to another. Therefore, it is important to wear flip-flops or sandals in public areas such as showers, pools areas and locker rooms where toenail fungus may be present.
Fungus is more likely to develop in when the toenails are not able to breathe. Tight shoes and nylon footwear may result in sweaty feet. The sweat is unable to escape and is trapped in the footwear, causing a moist environment and the perfect breeding ground for fungus.
The first evidence of a toenail fungus infection may be a small black, white or yellow dot appearing on the nail. The nail may appear thicker and you may experience pain when pressure is applied to the nail. Additional signs of a toenail infection are dry, brittle nails; dull nails; a foul odor; black buildup under the nail; and a nail that appears to be pulling away from the skin.
There are many types of vinegar available, such as apple cider, white, rice and balsamic. Any variety may be used in a vinegar cure for toenail fungus. Apple cider vinegar is the most often recommended as a cure for toenail fungus. The acid nature of the vinegar will cure the infection and lessen the amount of itching, and pain, associated with the fungus.
There are several recommended vinegar cures for a toenail infection. Prior to starting any treatment file down the nail. After treatment, completely dry the foot to prevent a moist environment. Treatment should continue until the infected nail has grown off of the toe and been replaced by a new, non-infected, nail. Natural treatments may take many months to work.
Soak the infected toe in a bath of half vinegar and half water. The foot must be soaked for 30 minutes at a time for at least three times a day, for many weeks, to cure the infection and prevent it from reoccurring. Severe infections may take several months to cure.
Twice daily, place two drops of full strength vinegar directly on the base of the toenail.
Before bed, spray a mixture of water and vinegar directly on the infected nail. If possible spray the mixture under the nail. Put a cotton sock on the infected foot and leave on overnight.
Any infection, and treatment, should be discussed with your doctor. A persistent toenail infection may be a sign of a compromised immune system. If you are diabetic, or have been diagnosed with a compromised immune system, any sign of infection should immediately be brought to your doctor's attention.