Monthly Archives: March 2016

Strengthen Your Nails

downloadWeak and brittle nails can be a sign of some underlying health problems, or it can result from the lack of proper nail care. Like hair, the condition of nails also reflect our health and overall well-being. So, nutritional deficiencies, as well as nail infections are some common conditions that can take a toll on your finger and toenails. Even factors like an overexposure to water, cleaning dishes everyday, as well as using the hands to wash clothes can also weaken your nails, and make them brittle and dry.

Caring for Weak and Brittle Nails

It is possible to strengthen the brittle toe and fingernails with proper nail care, and a balanced diet. The nutrients that are considered very important for the health of the nails are, proteins, biotin, calcium, and sulfur. So, include foods that are rich in proteins, along with sulfur- and calcium-rich foods in your diet. Apart from following a balanced diet, consider the following simple ways to strengthen your nails:

  • An overexposure to water cam make your nails dry, and more prone to breakage. Activities like cleaning dishes and clothes can also expose the nails to harsh chemicals, which can make them weak. So, be sure to protect your fingernails from water and chemicals by wearing gloves while doing such activities.
  • A nail strengthener or hardener can also be employed for treating weak and brittle nails. Ideally, a nail strengthener is used once in a week. You can also use it as a base coat before applying a nail polish.
  • Avoid the habit of biting your nails, and stop abusing your nails, i.e., using them for picking at things or peeling off stickers. All such activities can weaken the nails, and make them prone to breakage.
  • Try to keep your nails trimmed at regular intervals. Keep them a bit short, but not too low on the sides. This can help give them a neat look and prevent breakage.
  • You can trim your nails after taking a bath or shower, when they are soft, and so, can be trimmed easily. After trimming, shape the nails with an emery board, and file them by using the fine side.
  • Moisturize your nails by using petroleum jelly. It can be used several times a day to moisturize your nails and the skin around them. You can also apply petroleum jelly on the nails, and then cover your hands with gloves before going to bed.
  • Apply some olive oil on your nails with a brush, and keep it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Now, apply a moisturizer on your hands and nails.
  • A mixture of honey and lemon juice is also good for brittle nail treatment. Use this mixture to massage your nails in order to make them strong and resilient.
  • Avoid the frequent use of nail polish remover. If possible, use a remover that does not contain acetone. A remover with a moisturizer added to it, can help strengthen the nails.
  • For painting your nails, use a product that does not contain formaldehyde, as formaldehyde can weaken your nails and make them prone to breakage. Similarly, products with chemicals, like toluene and sulfonamide should also be avoided.

If the condition of your nails does not improve even after following a healthy diet and a proper nail care regimen, then consider to visit a dermatologist. A visit to a dermatologist is more important if you observe yellowing or thickening of the nails, or suspect nail infections, nail fungus, or other types of nail disorders.

Tips on Curing an Ingrown Toenail

If the sides of the nail of the toe are red, swollen, and inflamed, chances are high that you have an ingrown toenail problem (onychocryptosis ). In such a case, the nail penetrates and digs inside the skin of the toe, which overtime causes discomfort and pain. The corners of the affected nail feel tender to touch, and later, they turn reddish and sore. If not removed or if left untreated, this condition is usually followed by increased tenderness and infection. Correct grooming is sufficient for treating mild cases of this nail disease, while an infected nail requires therapeutic treatment. This article gives a few remedies of how to cure an ingrown toenail.

In case of such infections, manifested symptoms include bleeding, pus accumulation, unusual discharge, and a foul smell. But with proper hygiene and grooming tips, mild conditions can be cured at home, without therapeutic intervention.

Causes

This condition is caused due to improper cutting of the nails on the feet. While trimming, we tend to taper gradually or cut short in the corners so that the nail shape matches that of the toe. This is probably the most common reason for this condition. In some cases, it is developed due to wearing very tight, unfitting shoes for an extant duration. And, the risk factors for such a condition are very big toenails (that do not match the toe size) and accidental trauma that pushes the nail inside the skin.

Treatment

Though all the toes can develop this painful nail disease, the big one is the most affected. The condition may not be very serious, but timely intervention will help prevent worsening and onset of complications. Natural cures are effective if followed early, prior to infection.

Soak in Hot Water: This is an effective treatment for loosening the affected nail. Gently separate the skin from the attached nail, and using a sharp pair of scissors, trim the corner of the nail to its original shape. After this, follow correct nail grooming tips to hasten the healing period.

Soak in Saline Water: For doing this, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt in the warm water and allow it to dissolve completely. Soak the affected foot in the saline water for about 10-15 minutes to get relief from the pain.

Keep Area Dry: In order to minimize the risk of infection, it is of utmost importance to keep the area dry. Hence, after soaking your foot in warm water or saline water, do not forget to wipe the affected area dry with an absorbent towel. Also, ensure that you wear comfortable, open sandals to minimize sweating.

Massage the Affected Area: Massaging the affected area adjacent to the affected nail is very effective. This stimulates blood circulation, which aids in treating this problem. For massaging, you can use an essential oil that has an antiseptic property.

Prescription Antibiotics: If you suspect any signs of infection, advocating antibiotics (under medical supervision) will help in preventing exacerbation of the infection. Make sure that you complete the antibiotic course, which otherwise may lead to recurrent infections.

For a chronic case associated with signs of infection, the problem is best treated by an experienced podiatrist. If necessary, the doctor may consider a surgery for removing the nail. Coming to the precaution measures, cutting the nail straight (without curving at the corners), correct nail care, and avoiding very tight shoes are effective ways.

How to Make Antifungal Soap

images (1)Regular soaps only cleanse the body of dirt and germs. However, when affected by fungal infections, one needs more than just regular soap to maintain proper hygiene and enhance the healing process. Antifungal soaps are soaps especially made to deliver highest possible therapeutic effect to get rid of unwanted fungus infecting the body. Extracts from various organic antifungal medicinal plants, calendula for soothing effect, virgin coconut oil or palm kernel oil, olive oil, natural glycerin and vitamin E are combined together to form the therapeutic antifungal soap. The essential oil added also helps in moisturizing the skin and gets easily absorbed into the skin.

People suffering from eczema, acne, psoriasis and sensitive skin can use these soaps and tap its benefits. Moreover, people with fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, herpes, jock itch, staph, etc., need to use these soaps to get cured of their condition as soon as possible.

Antifungal Soap for Ringworm

Antifungal soaps for ringworm infections are soaps with the ability to destroy a wide range of fungi infecting the body tissues without harming the healthy body cells and tissues. Moreover, the organic medical plant extracts added to the soap also prevent further germination of the fungi. Use of these soaps helps get rid of nasty fungal infections and fungal overgrowth without conducing to skin damage of relapse episodes. This soap’s penetrative therapeutic effect treats and cures ringworm. The soap can be used daily while having a shower, after which one needs to apply the ringworm treatment cream to get rid of it.

How to Make Antifungal Soap

Things Needed

  • 300 gm white soap
  • 5 tbsp of jojoba oil
  • 10 ml of tea tree oil
  • 1.5ml of thymus vulgaris
  • 500 ml rose water
  • Cheese grater
  • Some dried marigold petals
  • Greaseproof paper

Preparation Procedure

Take the white soap bar and grate it using the cheese grater. Transfer these soap shavings to a bowl and add rosewater into it. Place a pan filled halfway with water on the burner and let the water boil. Once the water has begun boiling, place the bowl of soap and rosewater into the water. Secondary heating will enable the soap to melt uniformly. Once the soap melts, remove from the burner and add the jojoba oil and stir well. Also add the tea tree oil and thymus vulgaris and sprinkle in the dried marigold petals. Mix this soap solution well and put it into a shallow dish, suitable to prepare a soap loaf. You could also use individual molds for the soap if you wish. Leave the soap solution to cool and set for the next 10-14 days. Once they have set, slice the soap loaf into small cubes and wrap them in greaseproof paper. Store them in a cool dry place. Use when needed.

Besides antifungal soap bars, one also has the option of opting for antifungal liquid soap solutions which can also work as antifungal shampoos. However, since this antifungal shampoo can sting your eyes and tender parts of the body, be careful while using it. Different types of antifungal detergents, antifungal soaps for clothes, antifungal laundry soap, etc. are also available to help prevent the spread of infection to other members of the family. These soaps also keep the skin clean and soft.

Top Toenail Fungus Treatment

The medical term used to describe toenail fungus is onychomycosis, which is nothing but the fungal infection of dermatophytes that strike the toenail. The infected nail becomes brittle, loses its natural shine and appears yellow or dark in color. Timely treatment for nail fungus is necessary, ignorance of which can lead to irreparable damage to the affected toenail.

Treatment Over the Counter

Zetaclear
Zetaclear nail solution is made up of natural ingredients that have been used for years for proper skin care. Zetaclear contains almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and tea tree oil that are proven remedies to enhance the beauty of the skin. In order to restore the healthy look of the nails, using Zetaclear is definitely a good option. The 100% natural ingredient formula travels all the way down to the nail bed to kill the fungus. Besides applying the solution, one may have to use Zetaclear homeopathic spray to promote quick healing of the toenail fungus. Oral administration of spray helps to combat the infection from inside.

Nail Rx
Nail RX contains natural ingredients that are well-known for their antifungal properties. The aromatherapy oils such as clove oil, lemongrass, lavender and tea tree oil found in Nail RX contain antifungal compounds and so application of Nail RX works to cure the infection. Smooth healthy strong nails free from fungus is certainly guaranteed with regular application of Nail-Rx.

AntiFungal Liquid by Alva-Amco
This product is a combination of vitamin E, Aloe vera and undecylenic acid (FDA approved antifungal agent obtained from castor oil). Upon application, the antifungal liquid immediately relieves the itchy sensation and ensures that the infection does not last for more than a few days. The product comes along with a brush, so applying it is very convenient.

Natural Remedies

Tea Tree Oil
Antifungal activity of tea tree oil has been successful in eliminating toenail fungus. Make sure to buy 100% pure tea tree oil and then apply it on the infected toenail. Even the most resistant and persistent fungal infection will disappear with regular usage of this natural fungicide.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass essential oil is effective to kill a wide range of microbes including the fungus. Prepare a solution by mixing 6-7 drops of lemongrass essential oil with an ounce of olive oil. Now, with the help of a cotton ball, apply the mixture on the nails. Allow the nails to soak the oil for faster healing.

White Vinegar
Fungus overgrowth is observed in an alkaline environment, wherein the skin pH increases beyond its normal limit. Thus, higher the pH value of the skin, more will be its chances of getting infected with bacteria and fungus. As white vinegar promotes an acidic environment, its application can play a critical role in killing the fungus. Thus, keeping the toenail immersed for at least half an hour in a solution that contains white vinegar and water in equal parts works to destroy the fungus.

Oil of Oregano
Another way to combat toenail fungus infection involves application of oil of oregano. The compounds in oregano oil show excellent antifungal properties and hence applying it twice daily is enough to restore healthy, pinkish toenails.

Ways to Speed Up Healing of Toenail Fungus

People with infected toe nails need to keep in mind that a healthy diet is also important to remove toenail fungus at the earliest. Eating foods high in sugar promotes fungus overgrowth. In fact, the aforementioned remedies might be ineffective if sugary foods are not discarded from the diet.

As the affected toenail becomes thick and large, choosing shoes with a wide toe-box is recommended. Also, wearing nylon socks can irritate the infected site and so it is advised to wear cotton socks. The habit of applying nail polish has to be stopped temporarily, as it does not allow the topical medicine to penetrate deep into the nail bed. Keeping the infected toenail fungus dry is also important, as the fungus grows in a moist environment.

Yellowish, brittle toenails can be a thing of the past, provided the right antifungal treatment is used to tackle the infection. Besides, applying the right antifungal lotion, one should also eat skin-friendly foods to speed up healing.