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Ridding Oneself from Pesky Toenail Fungus

Joli pied-à-terreNow that our luscious warm weather has arrived I am beginning to see in my massage practice the rise of quite scruffy, scaly feet, calluses, cracked skin around the heels, imbedded dirt, and toenail fungus.  Left untreated such foot conditions can lead to more serious problems such as fungal spread and loss of toenails.  Foot fungus and toenail fungus can cause inflammation, swelling, pain, yellowing of the nails as well as thickening and/or crumbling of the nails.

Some causes may be due to wearing synthetic socks, having feet daily in moist environments such as shower rooms in gyms and spas, repeatedly wearing damp or sweaty shoes, low immune function or abnormal pH on the skin of the affected area.

Several effective home remedies exist but most importantly one needs to follow good foot hygiene.  Keep handy a special foot brush or loufah sponge, a pumice stone, and a cuticle stick to clean under and around nails.  Use these tools daily in your shower and your feet should be socially acceptable all summer.


Some of the easiest remedies listed here are from Top 10 Home Remedies found at

  1.  White vinegar and Listerine in a 50/50 mixture.  Listerine has strong antiseptic properties.  Soak feet two or three times daily.
  2. Pure Tea Tree Oil.  Place 20-25 drops in warm water and soak feet three times a day.
  3. Garlic oil and white vinegar.  Mix a 50/50 solution, apply to toenails and cover with socks.  You can make your own solution by crushing a clove of garlic and mixing with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let this mixture sit for 24 hours before applying.
  4. Orange oil.  Apply this daily all around toes and nails.  Leave on for one hour.  Watch for any signs of sensitivity as orange oil may cause an allergic reaction for some people.
  5. Oregano Oil.   This oil is antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial.  Mix 2 drops of oregano oil with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apply.  Results may take about 3 weeks but will be worth the daily effort.
  6. Lemon juice.  Apply fresh lemon juice directly to affected areas and leave on for 10-15 minutes.  Then rinse in warm water.

If applying these pure essential oils to scaly and cracked skin, dilute it first with olive oil, grapeseed oil, or almond oil.  Essential oils are strong and direct application to skin may cause serious problem.  The olive oil will soften the skin while the few drops of oil will do the antifungal work for you.

These ideas should help relieve the discomfort of any fungal infestation.  Be sure to keep your shoes clean and make sure they are completely dry before wearing again. Having nice soft feet will be much appreciated by your massage therapists.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns Touchstone Therapeutic Massage and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at (208) 290-6760.

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