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Toe fungus causes not only pain and unsightly toenails, but can ultimately lead to loss of your toenails. If you have discolored, crumbling, and/or thickened toenails, take immediate action to protect the health of your feet. Stock up for your efforts to combat toe fungus at your supermarket's produce section. The same pungently scented white bulbs used in horror movies to drive away vampires can also drive away scary-looking toenails.
Pay attention to foot hygiene. If you shower in public places, wear rubber flip-flops. If you practice yoga, bring your own mat to class. This will help you avoid either aggravating the fungus or spreading it to others. Dry your feet thoroughly after showering or swimming. Avoid wearing socks which fit too tightly as this can trap bacteria. If you perspire heavily in your feet, try changing socks more frequently.
Peel garlic gloves and crush with a flat surface of large knife, or use a garlic press. Apply crushed garlic to the affected region. To keep the crushed garlic in place, pull on your socks or wrap your toes with gauze bandages. Wear the garlic for several hours.
Remove socks or bandages and clean your feet. Bathing the feet in 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water will serve the dual purpose of removing the garlic odor and hastening the healing process as vinegar is another home remedy for the fungal condition.
Continue this treatment for one week.
Consult a physician if the condition persists even after home treatment. Toenail fungus occurs more frequently in men with diabetes and/or peripheral vascular disease. Also, other conditions, such as psoriasis, can look similar to toe fungus. Trying garlic and other home remedies cannot hurt, but do not ignore long-term or recurring problems related to your feet.
Another excellent home remedy for toe fungus is to rub tea tree oil thoroughly over the nail and cuticle region. Other substances which have been reported to help combat toe fungus include a salve of the herbs echinacea and goldenseal, as well as the extracts of olive leaf, oregano and grapefruit seed.
The smell factor is the only side-effect of using garlic externally. If you are also taking garlic internally to increase your body's resistance to infection and to help prevent cancer, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cautions that garlic can thin the blood--in the same way as aspirin--and may interfere with the action of certain HIV treatment drugs.