Nail fungal infections are the most common infections involving the nails. These infections also make up 50 percent of reported nail abnormalities. It’s normal to have fungus in the body, but it only becomes a problem when it overgrows. Nail fungal infection is also known as onychomycosis and tinea unguium.
Toenail Fungus Infection Symptoms
Nails that are infected with the fungus often show the following signs: thickened, crumbly, and brittle nails; nails that become ragged, dull, and distorted; the nail also becomes whitish or yellowish and it lifts off the nail bed.
You may also find scaling under the nail or a white or yellow streaking on the nails if not yellow spots that are found at the nail’s bottom. In severe cases, the infection may cause pain in the affected area and it often comes with a foul smell.
Another symptom associated with the condition is having fungus-free skin lesions known as dermatophytids. Usually, this is shown through rashes and itchiness in any area of the body that is not infected by the virus. It is more like an allergic reaction.
Toenail Fungus Infection Causes
Fungi are microscopic microorganisms that cause infections, and one of these is the nail fungal infection. Fungi grow without sunlight and in warm and moist places. A group of fungi known as dermatophytes to which Candida belongs is what’s responsible for nail fungus infections. Yeast and molds may also bring about these infections.
Toenail Fungus Infection Treatment
Treating a nail fungal infection is long and tedious. The usual nail fungus treatment options include oral antifungal pills, topical solutions like medicated nail lacquer, and alternative treatment methods. You can also find creams and ointments for nail fungus that can be purchased over the counter. The oral medicines often involve the following: terbinafine, fluconazole, and itraconazole. It usually takes four months for the infected nail to be replaced with a newly formed uninfected nail. For severe cases, the doctor may recommend a nail removal procedure, whether through laser surgery or otherwise.
Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus Infection
Several home remedies showed promising clinical effects on fungus. These home remedies are highly accessible and more affordable such as oregano oil, Vicks VapoRub, ozonized oils, and snakeroot extract. Other alternative treatments include Australian tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, apple cider vinegar, and Listerine.
1Other Health Benefits and Uses of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is more than just a spice or a remedy for fungal infection. It has multiple health benefits and uses. Here are some of the prized ones:
It boosts metabolism.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, is known to have metabolism-boosting properties. It increases the amount of heat produced by the body, which makes you burn more calories. It does this through a process called diet-induced thermogenesis, which results in faster metabolism.
It reduces hunger pangs.
Capsaicin also reduces hunger, which makes you eat less and feel full for a longer time. A study also showed that cayenne pepper reduces the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
It lowers blood pressure.
Based on animal studies, capsaicin can reduce high blood pressure. It also showed the ability to relax blood vessels in another animal study. However, human studies are needed for cayenne peppers to be recommended.
It enhances digestive health.
Cayenne pepper boosts the stomach’s defenses against infections. It also aids in the production of digestive fluid and helps in delivering enzymes to the stomach, which aids the digestion process. It stimulates the nerves in one’s stomach which signals protection of the stomach from injury.
If you want to have a quick fix and yet enjoy the multiple benefits of cayenne pepper, you can mix it in a drink along with water and lemon. This also works great for detoxification. Dried or powdered cayenne pepper can be easily added to meals to have a spicy kick. This can be added to veggies, meat, eggs, nuts, pasta, and a whole lot of food options. You may start from ½ teaspoon and work your way up. It is not recommended to those who are sensitive to spices.