A nail fungal infection is a common nail disorder. About 50 percent of all nail abnormalities are caused by a fungal infection. Toenail fungal infections are believed to be four times more common than fingernail infections. The infection may affect the nail, matrix, nail plate, nailbed, and even the nail root. This is more prevalent among elderly men.
What are its common symptoms?
The most common symptom of a nail fungal infection is nail thickening and discoloration. The nail may become green, white, black, or brown. Pain is often not felt at first until the infection spreads and becomes severe. The nail may also look ugly. Without any medication or some sort of intervention, the infection may spread and result in complications like cellulitis.
What are the usual symptoms?
Apart from the aforementioned symptoms above, as the nail infection spreads, the infected nail may also become brittle and crumbly, with some of its pieces falling off. The entire nail may also come off the nail bed. At times, the infected nail may emit a foul smell.
What are the causes of fungal nail infection?
Various types of fungi may cause a nail fungal infection, the most common of which belong to the group known as dermatophytes. Yeast and molds may also cause a fungal nail infection. The same microorganisms may also cause other types of infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm.
What are some factors that may worsen or increase the risk of infection?
There are several risk factors that bring you a nail fungal infection. These include walking barefoot in damp public areas like swimming pools, sharing personal items such as pedicure tools, and wearing footwear that can be too tight, among others. Those who suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes and a blood circulation disorder are also more prone to nail fungal infections.
How is this treated?
The most aggressive type of nail fungus treatment is taking oral antifungal medication. A topical medication in the form of nail lacquer and creams may be prescribed as an alternative too.
1What makes the pine bark extract highly effective?
Maritime pines are believed to possess several health-promoting plant compounds such as phytonutrients, vitamins, and polyphenols. A lot of these compounds are also found in other supplements such as witch hazel and grape seed extracts. The total amount of compounds found in the pine bark extract depends on the type of bark used in the supplement and the manufacturing process.
The most common polyphenol nutrients found in a pine bark extract are procyanidins, phenolic acids, and catechins. Procyanidins are a type of flavonoid that functions as an antioxidant. All pine bark extracts are standardized to contain 75 percent procyanidins.
Phenolic acids are a group of polyphenols that are known for their high antioxidant properties. These are commonly found in plant foods.
Catechins, on the other hand, form another antioxidant-like flavonoid family that gives the body cells protection from oxidation and harmful free radicals.
These compounds are known to have made the maritime pine bark extract a powerful health supplement that can offer the following benefits: antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
As an Antifungal
A standardized extract of the maritime pine bark extract known as pycnogenol was found to have antimicrobial effects on 23 different pathogenic which means gram-positive and gram-negative as well as eukaryotic or yeast and fungi microorganisms. Pycnogenol inhibited the growth of these tested microorganisms. These results are also aligned with the results of several oral health care studies that revealed pycnogenol’s ability to prevent plaque formation and clear candidiasis.
Other Health Benefits
Other benefits of the pine bark extract include the following:
The pine bark has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties. This means that it supports heart health and the body’s cardiovascular system in many ways. Some of its effects include restricting the buildup of fats, reduction of oxidative stress, the possibility of blood clots, and improvement in the body’s vein functions.
It is also possible that pine bark extract can offset the adverse effects of chronic conditions like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Boosts the Immune System
Due to the extract’s anti-inflammatory effects, researchers have been studying Pycnogenol as a possible therapeutic option for coronavirus. The goal of the study is to take advantage of the extract’s anti-inflammatory properties that will allow people to recover fast from COVID-19 and minimize the risk of long-term side effects.
The pine bark extract may also provide the dermis from UV rays. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. This may also help in providing you with a skin barrier function more effectively due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before you include the pine bark extract in your skincare program.
Several studies involving pine bark extract have shown that it is beneficial for the body’s cognitive functions. A daily dose of the extract can help improve the mental functions and memory of healthy adults. It has also shown effects in students, helping them to perform well during exams.
There are no known major side effects of the maritime pine bark extract. Most of the reported adverse effects include only headaches and an upset stomach.