How to keep your toenails pretty & fungal free

Before I tell you how to get rid of toenail fungus in the most natural way, let me first gripe about shoes, and in this case, closed-toe shoes. I really have to remind myself not to get another pair of closed-toe shoes because they’re not only uncomfortable, but they’re a big culprit for toenail fungus really.

I’m so thankful that I now have more flexibility in terms of my working footwear because I used to torture my feet and toes just wearing those darn closed-toe court shoes for years in the corporate world. Okay, it’s no where near the three-inch golden lotus but I still considered having my feet bound as mine are rather wide and whenever I wear such shoes, the toes are all crammed up in the shoe box. As a result, my last toenail used to look really bruised and I was sometimes told that I had nail fungus when I did my pedicure.

Why toenails are more proned to fungus than fingernails
And it’s no wonder because toenails are easily affected by nail fungus especially when the toes are usually sequestered for long periods of time under socks and shoes. And what do you know – these fungus love to thrive in humid, warm and dark places!

Easiest method to rid nail fungus
Nail fungus or onychomycosis are tiny organisms caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes that feed on the keratin that makes up the surface of the finger or toe nail. You can find quite a lot of info regarding toenail fungus treatment as well as commercial products to rid the fungus but the easiest method for me was to clip my nails every week. Doing this ensures that the nail fungus have no room to survive for long.

Soak nails in vinegar
Other ways in treating nail fungus is to simply soak your toenails or fingernails, in a small amount of vinegar a couple of times a day. Let the vinegar sit on your nails for a few minutes, wash your nails, and dry thoroughly. Vinegar is a disinfectant, and will kill the fungus on the nail bed.

Dab nails with lemon juice
Lemon is also antiseptic and can help kill the fungus bacteria so you can also dab your affected nails with lemon juice and leave for a few minutes before washing off.

Dab with essential oils
Essential oils are useful in treating nail fungus too. You can apply tea tree oil or lavender oil neat on your washed and dried nails a couple of times a day as both have antiseptic properties. You could also use a mixture of olive oil and oregano essential oil. Use two drops of oregano oil and one teaspoon olive oil. Apply to nails that have been thoroughly washed and dried. From what I’ve read, it seems you can use this treatment daily, but not for more than three weeks at a time.

Soak in antiseptic mouth wash
This method sounds unorthodox but really, it makes sense since Listerine, or other brands of mouth wash are antiseptic, and hence, can be used to treat your nail fungus.

Air your shoes and use anti-fungal foot spray or powder
If you are proned to toenail fungus, I really think it’s best to wear open-toe shoes but if you have to wear closed-toe shoes, make sure you air the shoes frequently in the open air or if you can, leave them out in the sunlight to kill the fungal spores. Alternatively, use an anti-fungal foot spray, labeled as effective against toenail fungus, inside the shoes or sprinkle an anti-fungal foot powder inside the shoes.

So what type of shoes are you going a-walking this Good Friday?

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  1. JacquiA says

    I love open toed shoes but the dress code for the corporate world dictates that we should wear court shoes! I do try to cheat and sneak open toed shoes in sometimes….great article Sesame. Now I know what to do.

    • sesame says

      Yes, even though there are those peek toe shoes, but they’re the same – my toes feel so crammed up in the shoe box.

  2. TheUndercoverGypsy says

    Those are all very good tips! I love trying the DIY stuff you post about :)

    I just bought my first pair of fit flops – going to give them their first outing this weekend…

  3. says

    I usually rotate wearing closed toe shoes and open sandals, depending on the dress mix and match of the day. Nevertheless, informative post indeed. Who know I may need this some day (*touchwood* hopefully not).

  4. says

    Great article. Now I know the various ways I can treat the condition.

    Btw, nice shoes (the closed toe one). Mind sharing where you got them?

    • sesame says

      I got the closed toe one from a neighbourhood shop – D&C. Looked pretty and was cheap…but darn…uncomfortable! I can’t wear this at all to walk around… :(

  5. pf1123 says

    I wear closed toe or peep toe a lot for work. But today I went shopping and got FitFlop!!!

    Got the brown colour one with same design as yours.

    • sesame says

      Oh you got FitFlop too? You’ll love it…it’s super comfortable! I find it even more so that Birkie’s…

  6. fwy says

    Open-toe shoes are more comfortable. Whenever I’m wearing them, I will apply cuticle oil on my toenails.

    • sesame says

      That’s a good tip! I use cuticle oil on my fingernails…hardly on my toe nails due to laziness.

  7. Tina says

    Thank you, it is a very useful article.

    Can I ask you a question – is it safe to wear a nail polish on your fingernails that you have already used on suspectedly fungus-affected toenails?

    • sesame says

      Well, it depends on the state of your fungus-affected toenails. If the infection is more internal, then it is still okay. I’ve used it before and the fungus didn’t spread. But, if the fungus is bad, then best not to apply nail polish on that nail.

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