As a mom-to-be, you know all the joys and wonders of expecting a baby to enrich your life, so you cherish the nine months of that blissful process. Yet, pregnancy sometimes comes with different discomforts that make self-care a bit more difficult. From swelling, backaches, hormonal changes that affect your skin and hair, all the way to various bacterial and fungal infections, your body is changing all around, and treatment often needs to differ from what you’d do without a bun in the oven.
One particularly unpleasant scenario no future mom wants to even think about, let alone plan for, includes treating fungal nail infections. Of course, ideally, let’s hope you never have to go down that path. Just in case you do, there are various natural ways you can help your toes heal without the use of excessive medication and antibiotics that could otherwise cause health issues for you or your baby. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Focus on prevention
Let’s start off with a few simple, easily applicable tips and behavioral changes that can reduce your chances to get a fungal infection in the first place, which is especially risky during pregnancy when your immune system might be weaker, or you’re experiencing feet swelling. Of course, summer heat can’t help, hence the need for taking extra precautions!
- Dry feet are healthy feet, so if you work out or sweat a lot due to the weather, make sure to wash your feet with mild soap and water regularly, and keep your feet dry.
- Regular trimming is essential, and keep your grooming tools clean and disinfected.
- Choose breathable shoes and bamboo socks, which are naturally moisture-wicking and keep your nails and skin healthy.
- You can even wear special anti-fungal, copper-infused socks that help kill the bacteria and fungus that could cause an infection.
Feat soaks that heal your toes
If you’ve already contracted an infection, you should do your best to heal it in its earliest stages, and preferably before it spreads to other toes. In case you can pinpoint the shoes and socks you’ve worn when you’ve noticed the infection begin, get them properly cleaned and disinfected.
Some natural soaks are great for treating infections. For instance, adding baking soda paired with vinegar in your warm water soak can be very effective when applies several times per day. Alternatively, some oils such as tea tree oil, oregano oil, and orange oil are extremely helpful with fungal infections. An old natural remedy might not be your favorite, but you can try it nonetheless: rub some garlic over your infected toes, as its natural antibacterial properties can be very powerful against milder infections.
Before your mind instantly leaps to hot and painful laser treatments, this option is far more comfortable and actually more effective in treating fungal infections. The key difference is that cold laser treatment for nail fungus uses low-intensity blue light for targeting the actual fungus, and red light for improving your overall immune system. This combination means that you’re using light against the infection without causing any harm to your toenails or skin around them.
One of the greatest perks of this treatment is that your body cannot really develop any form of resilience to it, which is often the case with repetitive use of antibiotics and topical treatments. The duration and number of laser treatments will depend on the severity of the infection, so your doctor will help you determine what you need to do to speed up the process.
Tweak your diet
When you’re relying on Mother Nature to do the healing, you also need to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to help your body heal. For instance, what you eat makes all the difference, especially during pregnancy, in terms of fortifying your immune system and helping you fight off an infection, and prevent one in the future.
For starters, garlic has antimicrobial properties perfect for the situation, so add some freshly crushed garlic over your tomato salad, or add it to your kefir drink. While we’re at it, dairy products rich in probiotics such as kefir and yogurt are an excellent choice, too. Finally, prebiotic-packed foods such as fruits and veggies are a must, since they are loaded with all of those essential micronutrients that your immune system needs.
As beautiful as this time of your life may be, you need to pay special attention to the kind of decisions you make with regard to your health. If you find yourself battling a fungal infection on your nails, try these natural solutions that will kick the infection to the curb, and of course, always talk to your doctor about the best way to move forward.