Fungal infections that occur on the nails are known as onychomycosis. It becomes more common as people age, it seldom affects children.
What organisms cause nail fungus infections?
Nail fungal infections may be caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds. This may affect one more toenails and fingernails. Most of the time it occurs on the big toenail and small toenail. There are several patterns in which this may occur. These include the following: scaling that appears underneath the nail, a white or yellow streak appears on one side of the infected nail, a thick area appears in the nail plate, nail destruction, the nail end lifts, yellow spots may occur in a half-moon shape, and flaky white patches and pits can be seen on top of the nail plate.
How is the infection diagnosed?
Nail clippings can be taken from the crumbling tissue at the tip of the infected nail. The discolored nail surface must be scraped off. The debris underneath the nail must also be scooped out. These will be sent to a mycology lab to conduct microscopy and culture.
How is the infection treated?
Fingernail fungal infections are easier and quicker to treat. Mild nail infections that affect less than 50 percent of a nail or two can be treated with a topical medication. More aggressive nail infections require oral antifungals that have to be taken for several months.
Non-drug nail fungus treatment options are also available nowadays. You can now try a laser that emits infrared radiation to eliminate fungi by producing heat in the infected tissue. Another painless procedure is called the photodynamic therapy. It entails applying 5-aminolevulinic acid and followed by exposing the nail to red light.
1All about the Jurema Petra
Jurema Petra (Mimosa tenuiflora) is a lovely tree that looks like a fern. It is native to the Southern Mexican lowlands. It grows naturally in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Panama. It has been used in traditional medicine for more than a millennium. This is also known as Mimosa tenuiflora and Mimosa hostilis.
Mimosa hostilis looks like a tree or a shrub. It grows up to approximately 8 meters. It comes with bright compound leaves. It also has white flowers that look like fern but smell great. However, jurema preta’s popularity is because of its root bark. This root bark has a high concentration of tryptamines (DMT and various phytoindoles), micronutrients, and tannins. Mimosa hostilis provides numerous medicinal and health benefits.
The leaves, trunk, and bark of jurema preta are used for treating bronchitis and also for healing wounds. This plant’s root bark has DMT. This forms 1 percent of its dry weight. It is also known as a popular hallucinogen.
Antifungal, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, and Antibiotic Properties
The Mimosa hostilis’ healing properties are not only limited to treating cuts and burns. This is because the plant is loaded with natural antibiotics and anti-inflammatory properties. These work together to prevent infections as well as promote healing. Furthermore, its root bark powder is also rich in antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It’s because of such properties that fungus, bacteria, and infections are hard to survive in a wound. This is also one of the reasons why this plant is the main ingredient in many health products such as creams used for eczema, acne, and herpes, and even in numerous products for hair loss and skincare. Aside from such creams, the Mimosa tenuiflora is also used in the treatment of vaginitis, skin fungal infections, and stomach disorders.
Other Health Benefits and Uses
Apart from the aforementioned benefits of the jurema preta, this plant is also beneficial in several other ways:
Due to its potent antiseptic and antibiotic properties, this may also help with various health conditions that make you sick. This can also boost your immune system. It also contains the following: glucosides, arabinose, alkaloids, lipids, saponins, lupeol, and rhamnose that can give you various effects and are highly useful in treating different medical conditions.
The powder from the Mimosa hostilis root bark is highly beneficial in treating a bleeding wound. Its bark contains enough amount of antioxidants and tannins that can stimulate blood coagulation and eventually stop the bleeding. This can be applied to cuts and wounds due to its potent blood clotting properties.
As an Antiseptic
This plant is a natural antiseptic. This is used for the treatment of various skin conditions. It also eliminates germs due to its potent antiseptic properties. This helps protect the skin from the risk of incurring various infections. It also comes with a strong defense against fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.
Because of its high antioxidant content, the plant can help fight off free radicals and cell damage, giving your skin a natural glow and firmness along with its youthful appearance. Jurema preta protects the skin against any environmental damage by providing it with various nutrients such as zinc, copper, and magnesium. This plant has saponins whose surfactant activity can cleanse the skin from dirt and oil, giving it a natural glow. The lipids found in its bark also strengthen the skin barrier functions. Lipids also help to retain the skin’s moisture. The skin tone is also enhanced by the action of tannins. Tannins may also lighten the skin because of their astringent property apart from reducing the oil from the skin.
Jurema preta’s leaves and bark are known for their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help get rid of dental pain. The common causes of toothaches are dental abscesses and gum diseases.
Used in Fragrances
This plant also gives off a pleasant smell and aroma. This is why it is often used in various body sprays and lotions. This is why it is often used in many aromatherapy sessions.
Burn and Ulcer Treatment
Mimosa hostilis is known for its analgesic property, which makes it a potent natural painkiller. You can find several creams and powders that contain the extract powder of the Jurema preta. Any of these can be applied to burns from minor to severe ones for soothing.
Always seek the advice of your doctor before you use this plant. Remember that it has hallucinogenic properties so it may be dangerous. But it is not illegal to access this plant, and it is not considered a controlled substance.