Onychomycosis or toenail fungus is an infection that occurs underneath the nail surface which is caused by fungi. When these tiny organisms attack, the nail will become dark and at times it may smell bad. You’re likely to find debris underneath the nail plate. White marks often appear on the nail plate. The infection is more likely to spread to the toenails, fingernails, and the skin in the infected area. When the infection is left untreated, it may make it painful for you to walk and can be an impediment to work. The thicker nails have become more difficult to trim. Onychomycosis may also come encumbered with a secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or on the nail plate.
Various organisms can cause toenail fungus infection, and the most popular of these is the dermatophyte. Yeasts and molds can also cause nail infections. This can develop in a person regardless of age, but it is more common among older adults. When the person ages so does the nail; it can become dry and brittle. Fungi can get into the cracks in the nails. When you have reduced blood circulation to the feet and a weak immune system, these may make you more susceptible to the fungus. This may start from an athlete’s foot, and it is common to get a nail infection from another person.
Certain factors can increase the risk of a person getting infected with nail fungus. Older people have reduced blood flow to the feet and more exposure to the fungi are more at risk of getting infected. Having an athlete’s foot or sweating profusely may also make a person more prone to fungus. Incurring a skin condition like psoriasis or nail injury can make one vulnerable to nail infection. When you walk barefoot in communal areas like swimming pools, locker rooms, and gyms, you become prone to nail infection too. The same holds true for those who have diabetes, circulation issues, and a weakened immune system.
Nail fungus treatment depends on the type of fungus that causes the infection and how severe the infection is. The doctor needs to try one medication or form of treatment to another or choose to use a combined treatment. Treatment can be in the form of a topical cream that can be applied to the nail directly, a medicated nail lacquer, prescription antifungal pills like terbinafine (Lamisil), and itraconazole (Sporanox), and a laser treatment to get rid of the infected part of the nail and skin. In some cases, the doctor may recommend totally removing the nail through surgery.
These conventional treatments are not without side effects. That’s why some people who suffer from the mild symptoms of nail fungus prefer to use home remedies. These are more accessible and affordable and most of them are natural. Examples of these home remedies are garlic, tea tree oil, coconut oil, Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, and many others. One of these more natural remedies that you can apply at home is cucumber.
2Home Remedy: Cucumber
Cucumber is often thought of as a fruit, but it is a vegetable. The scientific name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus. It is a widely propagated plant that belongs to the gourd family, the same family as pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, and others. It has 90 percent water content, which gives it its unique cool taste.
If you are suffering from a nail fungus infection and you have been having brittle nails, you can make use of cucumber for your nails by soaking your feet in cucumber juice extract for about 5 minutes.
Cucumber is rich in calcium and iron as well as multiple vitamins: A, E, B1, B2, B3, and C. Its ascorbic acid and caffeic acid can help soothe various types of skin irritations. Cucumber is also known for removing dead skin cells and helps address irritations and inflammations from the skin, making the skin smoother. The cooling effect of cucumber is due to the amino acid known as cucurbitin. Cucumber seeds also have fatty oils that can give the body a soothing effect when applied to them topically. Cucumber can also address sunburns, eye puffiness, and it can also tighten loose pores.