A nail fungus infection is brought about by a fungus that affects the keratin composition of the nail. The fungus nail infection is not limited to any specific part of the nail, but all its parts including, the nail bed, nail plate, and the root of the nail.
Nail fungus infection or onychomycosis is one of the most prevalent diseases caused by dermatophytes. The most common organisms that can cause nail infections are Trichophyton rubrum, molds, and yeast especially Candida spp.
One of the most common symptoms of nail fungus infection is having a distorted nail. The nail may lift off and eventually fall off the nail bed. You may also see that the nail has thickened or has become brittle. It is also more likely that you will find white or yellow streaks on the nails. This condition is specifically known as lateral onychomycosis. The corner of the nail may start to disintegrate or perhaps completely fall off.
Fungal nail infections can be prevented through proper hygiene, but there are still several conditions that can increase your chances of incurring a nail infection. These are the following: age; exposure to public swimming pools, gyms, locker rooms, and showers; certain medical conditions like diabetes, circulation diseases, psoriasis, immune system disorders; prolonged wearing of closed-toe shoes; living in a hot and humid climate; having an existing fungal infection like jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot; family history; having an injury or open area on the nail, nail bed, or skin that surrounds the nail; and constantly having wet hands and feet.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The dermatologist will examine the nail and can make a diagnosis based on how it appears. The doctor may also ask for a nail sample to inspect under the microscope or bring it to the lab for a culture test. This will allow the doctor to figure out what type of fungus it is that caused the infection. The doctor may debride or remove the infected nail to promote the growth of the new nail. Fungal infections may be difficult to cure, and you can have recurring infections.
Over-the-counter (OTC) products are not often recommended by doctors for treating nail infections since they are not likely to take effect. It is more probable for the doctor to prescribe oral antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), terbinafine (Lamisil), griseofulvin (Gris-PEG), and itraconazole (Sporanox). The doctor may also prescribe other types of antifungal treatments like a medicated antifungal nail lacquer or other topical treatments. These are brushed on the nails, just like when you apply nail polish on them. Treatment often lasts for months up to a year, depending on the type of fungus causing the infection and how severe it is. The permanent treatment is not guaranteed when it comes to nail fungal infections. Recurrence of the infection is always possible.
For those people who want to get rid of nail fungus the natural way, they turn to home remedies. There are many options for this type of nail fungal treatment such as oregano oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, tea tree oil, herbs and extracts, pastes, foot soaks, and decoctions. These have been used for ages and many of these are part of folk medicine. One of these is the use of anise seeds.
Anise seeds are derived from the Pimpinella asisum, and they are known to have a lot of medicinal benefits. The seeds have powerful chemical elements that can fight off fungi, making them a great nail treatment. The anise is originally from the Mediterranean region. Its seeds have a subtle licorice flavor and they have been used by people as an after-dinner digestif for many centuries. Greeks and Egyptians used them as a natural digestive aid that will facilitate digestion, balance the blood sugar level, and as a natural cure for fungus overgrowth.
Anise seeds have the aromatic compound called anethole which aids in normalizing blood sugar. Through balancing the blood sugar levels, harmful organisms in the body are also deterred, particularly Candida albicans or yeast that feeds on sugar. The seeds are also rich in various nutrients such as magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and calcium.
Based on the Acta Pharma Journal, anise seed oil can help to inhibit four species of dermatophytes which include Trichophyton which is the common cause of nail fungus infections. Researchers have also discovered that anise seed oil can slow down the spread of candida yeast.
Anise seed oil is a good all-around cure. It is a potent treatment, and that’s why you must avoid getting it on the skin surrounding your nails and toes. The best way to treat nail fungus infection by using anise seed oil is to create a foot soak. Just follow the following steps:
Find a container that can accommodate your feet, and fill it with warm water. Add 5 to 8 drops of anise seed oil to the warm water. Put your feet in the container, and leave it there for 20 minutes. Wash your feet, and let them dry naturally. Repeat the same procedure every day.
For mild infections, you will be able to see results in 1 to 2 months if you use this anise seed foot soak daily.