Nail fungus is the most common nail infection. It is responsible for around 50 percent of all nail disorder consultations. Nail fungal infections have been considered an age- and gender-related condition. This increases in propensity as a person becomes older, but it is more prevalent among males. A nail fungal infection has several predisposing factors which are diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, and peripheral arterial disease because of HIV or immunosuppressive agents.
Nail fungus is more likely to occur in toenails than the fingernails. Several types of fungi may cause this infection including dermatophytes, molds, and yeasts. Almost all nail fungal infections are caused by dermatophytes, which affect the nails, skin, and even the hair. These are tissues that have keratin.
Nail fungus is manifested in several ways such as the appearance of yellow, white, or black spots on the edge or base of the nail and even near the cuticle. As the infection spreads, these spots also spread and end up covering the entire nail surface. The fungus is expected to colonize the nail, which often leads to softening, deformation, and detachment from the nail bed. The disease is infectious and at the same time contagious. This may spread to the rest of the nails of the same person and even to another person through contact with fungus-contaminated surfaces.
What is its cause?
In more than 90 percent of nail fungus infection cases, the pathogen that causes nail fungal infections can be any of three kinds of dermatophyte fungi, namely Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton. About 10 percent of nail fungal infections are caused by yeasts of the genus Candida spp. or other fungi.
How is it treated?
Generally speaking, the initial treatment for a nail fungal infection is a topical antifungal treatment. Nail fungus can be stubborn and so nail fungus treatment has to be administered for a prolonged period. When the infection persists, oral antifungal medication is often given for more aggressive treatment.
2All about the Cordyceps Mycelium (Dong Chong Xia Cao)
Cordyceps is a popular genus of parasitic fungi which usually grows on the larvae of certain insects. Such fungi attack the host and replace their tissue and they tend to sprout slender and long stems that often grow outside of the host.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the remains of the fungi and insects are hand-collected and dried first before they are used as a remedy for sickness, fatigue, low sex drive, and kidney diseases.
There are around 400 species of Cordyceps, the majority of these are native to Nepal, Thailand, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Wild cordyceps are valued highly in China and it costs over $20,000 per kilogram.
Cordyceps is often known as caterpillar fungus because of its tubular and thin shape. It is also known as dong chong xia ca in traditional Chinese medicine.