Sometimes a part of our body is sick and it cost us to detect or we miss and we went to the doctor when it takes too long and the disease has progressed. Our nails are not exempt of getting infections, and a way to realize it is to see if there is any change in color (greenish-yellow tint) or if they are thicker than usual.
If this is your situation, I tell you that there are measures to combat an infection of nails you might be suffering, that will quickly go the trouble that looks ugly and it affects your health.
UK data show that 3 in 100 people develop a nail infection at some point in their lives, and the toenails are most affected. People over 60 are more at risk because their immune systems are weaker and because they are the most used community pools or showers.
Symptoms of nail infection
Often the infection is limited to a single nail, which can become brittle and crumble, and the surrounding skin becomes inflamed, painful, and generates scales. If untreated, the infection can spread to other nails and can destroy the nail bed completely, causing the whole nail out.
If a toenail is affected, the simple act of walking can become extremely painful. The nail infections develop when fungi and parasites that normally live on the skin, multiply out of control. This can occur with a weakened immune system (due to aging, illness, or after a process of stress) or after being treated with steroids or antibiotics.
Natural treatments for nail infections
Doctors usually prescribe anti-fungal medications include clotrimazole, and griseofulvin, but these treatments take between 6 and 12 weeks to act. They can also cause side effects such as rash, nausea, vomiting and liver problems.
The doctor may also recommend an antifungal nail polish, to be applied daily for 6 to 12 months and not always effective, especially in cases where the infection affects the skin around the nail.
Some natural alternatives may be helpful in the treatment of nail infections:
Tea tree oil: the Highland Hospital in New York conducted a study with 117 patients with infections of the nails. Half were treated with conventional drug clotrimazole, while the other half were given tea tree oil to the affected area twice a day. The scientists found that tea tree oil was as effective as clotrimazole in clearing the infection. Use a few drops, two to three times a day and do a massage at the nail and surrounding skin.
Lavender Oil: Italian scientists at the University of Cagliari found that extracts from the leaves and stems of lavender are effective against several types of fungi, including those involved in the cause nail infections. Apply to the affected area twice a day.
Fennel oil: sometimes a secondary infection may develop around an infected nail. For this you can use fennel oil, which possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Apply two to three times a day.
Prevention is key to protecting yourself from infection. Even some studies show that in cases effectively treated, after 1 to 4 years back the infection.
Therefore it is necessary to follow some simple preventive steps, such as keeping nails short, do not share nail clippers with anyone, avoid injury and irritants to your nails, wear shoes that do not damage your feet, be careful in the pools and communal showers.