Q:

Are there any home remedies for treating nail fungus?

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Applying Vicks VapoRub to the nail and trimming and thinning the affected nail are home remedies for nail fungus, states the Mayo Clinic. Painting the nail with tea tree oil or grapefruit extract, eating garlic, and soaking the nail in vinegar and water are other treatments, says Andrew Weil. M.D.

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In a study in which individuals applied Vicks VapoRub daily to a nail affected by fungus, about half the subjects noticed improvement in the nail, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thinning and trimming the nail alleviates pressure and makes it easier for any topical treatments applied to reach the deeper nail layers.

Using tea tree oil or grapefruit extract on the nail twice a day for a minimum of two months often produces positive results, reports Dr. Weil. It can take a year for the damaged portion of nail to grow out. Because garlic has antifungal properties, eating a clove or two on a daily basis may be helpful in fighting nail fungus. Soaking the nail in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for about 20 minute a day may help eliminate nail fungus.

Over-the-counter antifungal treatments are available for nails in drugstores, notes the Mayo Clinic. If these remedies do not provide satisfactory results, a podiatrist can prescribe oral antifungal medications and medicated nail polishes and creams. A podiatrist can also remove the nail and administer light or laser treatment.

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