Women's Health

How Can I Clear Up This Toenail Fungus?: Expert Health Advice for Women Over 40

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With the weather heating up, flip-flops and sandals are becoming our footwear of choice. But, something bothersome like a foot fungal infection might get in the way of that. Fortunately, there are solutions to that problem as Heather Moday, MD, gives her expert advice on home remedies for toenail fungus!

Q: I have a fungal infection that has turned my toenails yellow with prominent ridges, and I’m embarrassed to wear sandals! Is there anything I can do to get rid of the infection — and the discoloration?

A: You’re not alone! Foot fungal infections become increasingly common as the weather warms up, especially if your feet are trapped inside damp, warm shoes. The good news? There are simple ways to help clear up the infection at home. Here’s how:

To stop the fungus in its tracks, I recommend soaking the infected area in a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide helps destroy fungal cells, and the baking soda balances the pH of your nails and the surrounding area by making it more alkaline. Since the fungus is typically acidic, this helps neutralize the infection and prevent the fungus from growing.

To do: Mix 1⁄2 cup of baking soda, one cup of three percent hydrogen peroxide and 4 cups of water. Soak your infected toes in the solution each day for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse and dry. To make this even more effective, you can then use a cotton swab to apply a few drops of clove oil to the area twice a day until the infection clears up.

In a study published in the journal Mycobiology, investigators found that the antifungal oil prevented fungus from growing and spreading.

While you wait for the infection to go away, I recommend wearing opentoed, breathable shoes. And if you’re self-conscious about showing your toes, there’s an easy fix: Swipe antifungal nail polish on your toenails. One to try: Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish (Visit RemedyNails.com). Formulated with antifungal ingredients, the nail polish covers the discoloration on your nails while fighting the infection.

Put FIRST to work for you!

Heather Moday, MD, is director of the Moday Center in Philadelphia. She is board-certified in allergy and immunology, as well as integrative and holistic medicine. You can follow her on Instagram (@theimmunitymd), where she shares information on health topics. And to ask her a question here, send an email to health@firstforwomen.com.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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