Nail fungus: What is it? Can I eliminate it using natural remedies?

Posted by on August 18, 2010 at 9:52 am.

Toenail fungus

A few years ago, one of my friends suffered from nail fungus. She wasn’t too happy since it meant she’d be hiding her feet behind closed shoes or attempting to mask the offending nail fungus with nail polish. Frustrated she asked me did I know of any holistic approach to treat her toenail fungus? I surely did.

Instead of posting everything within one post, I’ve decided to break it up into a series. In the first part, we’ll learn what nail fungus is, some of its symptoms, and ways we can prevent nail fungus from starting. In the second part of the series we’ll check out a few natural approaches that might help with the ugly nail fungus.

What is Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus or onychomycosis is a tiny organism that can affect the nails of the finger and toes. It’s a common condition that many people suffer from. Did you know that More than 35 million people suffer from nail fungus?

Feet are prime real estate for nail fungus

Our nails are the perfect spot for fungus. The sensitive skin of our fingers and toes are protected by our nails. This hard covering can make it difficult to get to the fungus. Fungus thrives in warm, moist, and dark places which is why you mainly see fungus on the toenails. Many of us have our feet hidden  behind socks, nylons, and shoes for a good part of the day. Which can be the ultimate spot for nail fungus to hang out and party. Keeping our feet covered creates the perfect environment for nail fungus to thrive.


Naturally, some feet will be more attractive for fungus than others; I’ve decided to list a few things that might make your feet a high risk for toenail fungus.

Factors that can contribute to nail fungus

  • Working in a humid or moist environment
  • Improper ventilation of feet
  • Walking barefoot in damp places (pools, gyms, & showers)
  • Smoking
  • Sweaty feet
  • Artificial nails
  • People with diabetes
  • Family history of nail fungus
  • Weak immune system (unhealthy eating habits)

ugly-toenail-fungus.08.16.10.jpg Symptoms of Nail Fungus

  • Brittle nails
  • Thickened nails
  • Distorted appearance
  • Discolored nails
  • -Nails can turn brown, black, yellow, or green. This is caused by debris building up under the nail.

Fungus Prevention

  • Antifungal Spray
  • Don’t go barefoot in public
  • Healthy diet
  • Don’t trim or pick at skin around the nails.
  • Choose your pedicure salon wisely. Make sure the salon sterilizes its instruments or bring your own.
  • Ditch the nail polish and artificial nails.
  • -If you have nail fungus it can be tempting to hide it under a coat of polish however this can prevent the fungus from healing and may increase the infection.

  • Wear appropriate socks and change socks daily.
  • If possible, take your shoes off during the day.
  • If you have nail fungus, wash your hands after touching the infected nail.
  • -Don’t forget germs can spread from nail to nail.

Be proactive, use a few of the fungus preventions suggested. This can be an extremely effective in keeping your toenails free from fungus. Not to mention a nice aromatherapy based spray will have your feet smelling good too.Stay tuned for the next part of the series where we’ll look at some holistic remedies that can be used for nail fungus.

What happened to my friend? The holistic remedies, combined with the tips I suggested for nail fungus prevention, was all that was needed to rid her toenail of the unsightly fungus. At times that’s not enough, in extreme cases surgery is needed.

Next in Series: Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus

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