In the absence of medical studies regarding home remedies for toenail fungus, there is certainly no shortage of people who are willing to experiment on themselves. On one blog devoted to home remedies, a patient going by the name of “Rebecca” says she was on Lamisil for six months, which “helped, but didn’t cure” her toenail fungus — and that it was, in fact, a combination of tea tree oil and Epsom salt that cleared up her infection. She says she applied tea tree oil directly to the nail twice a day and put Epsom salts in her socks and shoes. Seven other toenail fungus sufferers vouched for the use of Epsom salts in treating toenail fungus. Perhaps you’re wondering, “Should I try this toenail fungus cure?”
How Does Salt Cure Nail Fungus?
The truth is, no one really knows how or why salt might cure nail fungus. According to Dr. Ray Sahelian, “It is known that soaking in Epsom salt leads to absorption of magnesium and sulfate into the bloodstream. Topical use of Epsom salt, or soaking with Epsom salt also acts as a drying agent for the skin, which can be used to benefit certain skin and nail conditions.” So he suggests that one can essentially “dry out” the moist environment where fungus thrives. In addition to nail fungus, Dr. Sahelian says salt can also be a natural cure for athlete’s foot.
There have been a few other studies that can be loosely applied to the concept of using salt to eliminate nail fungus:
- One study from California dating back to the 1960s found that fungus species pathogenic to man do not survive in sea water where the salt concentration is above 6%.
- Also, researchers from the University of Kiel in Germany concluded that a Dead Sea salt bath can improve a patient’s skin barrier functionality, thanks to the high concentration of magnesium — which helps to “bind water, influence epidermal proliferation and differentiation, and enhance permeability barrier repair.”
- A third study sought a solution to the athlete’s foot fungus epidemic killing frogs. Scientists discovered that increasing the salt in the frogs’ environment improved the survivability of the hosts, while affecting the growth rate and ability to disperse spores in the fungus. While some fungus can adapt to a saltier environment, this particular fungus was not one of them.
How To Kill Toenail Fungus With Salt
There are two different types of salt you may use to cure toenail fungus:
1. Epsom Salt: Magnesium-packed Epsom Salt prepared by a series of chemical processes is used for a variety of medical purposes, including toxin removal, muscle relaxation, skin hydration and skin exfoliation.
The Salt Works sea salt company recommends soaking your feet in a hot water basin with a handful of Epsom salt three times a day to treat toenail fungus.
2. Sea Salt: Salt created from the evaporation of sea water has been used in cooking and cosmetics. Even so, some articles claim you can use sea salt as a treatment for foot fungus.
The company Bath Path recommends:
- Trimming the affected nail and filing to enable the sea salt to reach the infected area
- Mixing a basin of hot water with a cup of hydrogen peroxide to dip the toes into for a few minutes
- Applying sea salt directly to wet toes held out of the water for three minutes to “cure”
- Adding 1.5 cups of sea salt to the peroxide mixture and putting the toes in for 30 minutes
- Drying the toes with a warm towel
- Massaging the toes to encourage circulation and healing
- Applying one or two drops of vinegar on the infected toes
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?! Unless you love pampering yourself at home day-in and day-out, you may want to just suck it up and pay for laser toenail treatment to kill off the fungal infection in one afternoon session and use a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to prevent its recurrence. No matter what treatment you choose, keeping your shoes properly sanitized is an essential step in ridding yourself of toenail fungus.