Fungal nail infections are a widely felt problem brought about by a fungal microorganism that infects the nail plate. This condition may affect one to several toenails. In some cases, the infection may also occur on the fingernails. This nail infection usually starts on the edge of the nail and works its way to the base of the nail plate. When the nail fungal infection is left untreated, it may spread to the skin and other nails.
A nail fungal infection is usually caused by fungi, the most common of these belong to the group known as dermatophytes. This infection may also be caused by yeasts and molds. Fungus thrives in a dark, warm, and moist environment, much like the environment found inside the shoes.
The infection can be passed on from one person to another. This is why it is important not to share personal items like nail clippers and towels and also to avoid walking barefoot in areas like public pools and changing rooms. A person may also become vulnerable to infection due to some chronic conditions like diabetes, a blood circulation disorder, and a weakened immune system.
There are several signs and symptoms of a nail fungal infection. These include having a thickened nail, distorted nail shape, having a brittle or crumbly texture on one’s nail, nail discoloration with your nail becoming yellow or green, and the nail becoming loose or totally falling off the nail bed. The infected part may also cause pain and discomfort and sometimes even a bad odor.
When the infection becomes severe, the doctor may prescribe antifungal oral treatments. You may also find a range of topical nail fungus treatment options. These treatments may last for several weeks up to a year. Laser treatment can also be done on nail infections and for persistent cases, nail removal may be advised.
8All about Sainfoin (O. viciifolia)
Sainfoin is a perennial legume that feeds on limestone, thin chalk, or stony soils. This is the typical terrain of the South Downs and the Cotswolds. Sainfoin belongs to the genus Onobrychis. This plant has been part of traditional cultures around the world. The legume was introduced to North America in the late 1800s from Europe and Asia where it was abundant. Since then, it has been used for grazing and hay.
This legume is known for being highly palatable to animals, especially livestock and it offers a superb nutritional balance. It is so palatable that cattle and sheep’s voluntary intake of the legume is 20 percent higher compared to grass. This makes it easier and quicker to fatten up livestock. Sainfoin can be grazed or fed as silage or as hay. It affects metabolism in animals as well as gas emissions and the quality of meat and milk produced.
In recent years, it has declined in western countries in terms of propagation since it is more difficult to grow than other legumes, but sainfoin also has beneficial characteristics such as being palatable and able to survive in a drought. The amazing properties of sainfoin were ignored during the post-war years because of industrial agriculture. Given the aforementioned benefits of sainfoin, it is not a surprise that it is making a comeback these days.