Dancing on my toes

Curing Fungal Nail Infections with Essential Oils

If you're a regular gym goer and suffer from thick, brittle or yellow nails, you may be suffering with Onychomycosis, otherwise known as fungal nail infection. Anyone can get a nail infection, however people who frequently wear sweaty trainers may be at higher risk, due to the warm, damp conditions that surround the toes. Whilst some conditions are certainly liveable and may require no treatment, if it causes pain when you walk or trim the nail, or leads to feelings of self-consciousness then professional help from a registered podiatrist is advised. The medication used for fungal nail infections is both strong and sometimes resisted by the fungus, meaning it can often take up to 18 months before a nail is fully healed. Therefore if you'd prefer to take a more natural approach, here are a few home remedies that may help to stop the spread of the infection and reverse the fungus's growth.

Keep Clean

The first defence against fungal nail infections is to wear clean socks, change your shoes daily to allow them to air out, and wash your feet regularly. If you shower at the gym consider taking some flip-flops to avoid contamination, and use a clean dry towel after washing along with some foot powder. Following these simple procedures will help to eliminate the damp conditions needed for fungus to grow.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly with added essential oils work well against early fungal nail infections. Essential oils have long been used for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and when combined with the petroleum jelly make an airtight seal around the fungus. Before applying make sure your feet are clean and dry, before covering the nail with the ointment. You can even file the nail down to expose more of the fungus, which will allow the jelly to penetrate it quicker. Try applying a few times a day, including once before bed for as long as it take for the nail to heal. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also well known for it's anti-fungal properties and can be applied in the same way as the petroleum jelly. Just be careful not to let the oil spill on to the skin, as it can cause rashes and irritation. Therefore it's best to apply it with a cotton bud before bed, to allow it to get absorbed into the nail without being diluted by foot sweat.

Both of these methods can be effective, but only if used consistently. If you fail to treat the nail for any period of time you risk it growing back, undoing the progress you have already made.