Nail fungus is caused by fungi invading the skin around and under the nail. While the same fungus can cause athlete's foot, a toenail fungus and athlete's foot are different conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, they can both occur at the same time. A nail fungal infection most often occurs when the nail is exposed to wet, warm environments such as sweaty shoes. There are medical treatments available, including laser treatments. There are also home remedies that reportedly have good results. One of these home remedies is a nail fungus cure using Vicks.
While using Vicks for a nail fungus cure may sound far-fetched, it may not be. Two of the ingredients used in Vicks are strong antifungal agents. Thymol is a key ingredient. It is derived from thyme oil. Thyme oil is used by herbalist for its antifungal action. The other ingredient that is important is eucalyptus oil. This oil is also well-known among herbalists for its ability to fight fungus. The camphor and menthol that are present in Vicks also may play a role in curing nail fungus. Menthol in particular helps the other ingredients penetrate the nail. It should be noted that the United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved Vicks for this specific use. Keep this in mind when using it. Medical attention should always be sought for severe cases.
Wash the nail to be treated with soap and water and dry well. Apply Vicks liberally to the nail and surrounding skin. It is best to leave the nail open to the air, but if that is not possible use a cotton sock to cover. Cotton socks are important because they do not trap moisture around the nail and they allow air to circulate. This treatment should be done twice a day until the affected part of the nail grows off. This may take months. It is common for the nail to turn darker when treatment for nail fungus with Vicks begins.
A nail fungus infection is contagious. It can spread to other nails on the body and to other people. Do not share nail grooming tools, and sterilise them after use. Avoid wet environments such as public showers. Allow shoes to air for a day between wearing to be sure that they are dry. Sandals are the best way to keep toenails dry and cool and avoid future nail fungus infections.