Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common health condition in which white or yellow fungal spots appear under the nails of toe or fingers. It is essentially caused by fungal infection and can result in the deterioration of fingernails and toenails. Mild cases of nail fungus are not very bothersome and may not need treatment. However, as the condition progresses furtherer, it can cause thickening and discoloration of nails. Nail fungus can infect several nails at a time. When it affects the skin between toes and feet, it is called athlete’s foot. It is more common in toenails compared to fingernails.


  • Distortion in the shape of nails.
  • Brittle and ragged nails.
  • Thickening and dark coloration of nails.
  • Foul smell emanating from the nails.

Home remedies

  • Use Vicks VapoRub: Vicks VapoRub is an ointment generally prescribed for the treatment of cough. However, some of the active ingredients of Vicks such as eucalyptus oil and camphor can help in the treatment. One can apply Vicks on the affected region a few times a day.
  • Tea tree oil: It possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties that can effectively fight nail fungus. It should be applied over the affected region twice daily.
  • Snakeroot extract: It is an effective antifungal and its effectiveness can be compared with a standard antifungal medicine ciclopirox. However, it does not require a regular application and its application every third day is ideal in the first month of treatment.
  • Oregano oil: Thymol, an antifungal molecule, is present in oregano oil. You can also use this oil in combination with tea tree oil. However, both oils are very potent and combining them may cause irritation or allergy in some people.
  • Ozonized oils: In this therapy, sunflower oil or olive oil is injected on the affected area with ozone gas. Here, ozone is present in lower concentrations and kills the fungus, bacteria, and yeast present in the infected area.
  • Vinegar: It is considered a safe remedy for nail fungus. One can soak the infected part in vinegar diluted with warm water for 20 minutes for benefits.
  • Listerine: Some of the active ingredients of Listerine are eucalyptus, thymol, and menthol. These components possess antifungal and antibacterial properties and help in clearing the infected areas.
  • Olive leaf extract: Oleuropein, an active ingredient present in olive leaf extract, has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also boosts immunity.
  • Garlic: Garlic can be directly applied to the affected area and is known to possess antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • Dietary changes: Some of the dietary changes such as an increase in the intake of food rich in protein, iron, vitamin D and calcium can help in making your nails stronger and support nail growth too.

Some of these home remedies can be tried in case of milder infection, but in severe cases, medical help must be sought before the condition worsens.