Home remedies for fungal nails include tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, raw garlic, vinegar and Vicks VapoRub, explains Dr. Andrew Weil. Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract and Vicks VapoRub are applied topically to the infected nail twice a day. Eating one or two cloves of raw garlic works internally to fight fungal infections. Vinegar is mixed with two parts water, and the hand or foot is soaked in the solution for 15 minutes a day.
Nail fungal infections are normally painless, but they can become painful if they are not properly treated, according to WebMD. The first sign is usually white or yellow streaks at the nail's surface. Debris begins to collect underneath the nail, causing it to become thicker and discolored. As it gets worse, the nail turns brittle and breaks apart.
Clean, dry and properly maintained nails are less likely to get a fungal infection, notes Healthline. People lessen their risk by drying their feet thoroughly after bathing, protecting their feet with moisture resistant socks and wearing proper footwear in public areas.
Complications sometimes result from severe cases of nail fungal infections, states Mayo Clinic. The infection could spread beyond the nail for people with compromised immune systems. Infections of the foot are more likely to cause further problems for diabetics. People suffering from these conditions should avoid home remedies and consult a physician.