Fungi are utilized as both food and fermentation agents in the creation of bread, cheeses, alcoholic drinks, and a range of other foods. Secondary metabolites of fungi that are employed in medicine include antibiotics and anticoagulants.
Fungi can be found in practically any environment. This yeast, on the other hand, may be a beast. There are more than 85 fungal species that may live on human skin that can be both beneficial and harmful fungus. Only a few hundred fungus species out of a million can cause significant fungal infections in people; let's have a look at them and their natural therapies.
Fungal Infections Caused By Most Common Fungi
Fingernail and Toenail Fungal Infections
Fungal nail infections cause the fingernails or toenails to darken, thicken, crack and break more easily. Toenail infections are more common than fingernail infections. 1 Onychomycosis is the medical term for fungal nail infection.
Symptoms: Fragile or cracked thick nails, Discoloured (yellow, brown, white)
Causes: Fungus (yeasts or molds) that reside in the environment can enter your nail through small breaks in your nails or the surrounding skin, causing an infection. People with diabetes, blood circulation problems, nail injury, or athlete's foot are more likely to get infected. Other causes are:
- Living in a hot, humid environment
- Feet constantly covered
- Walking barefoot in a public place
- Sharing nail clippers
- Sweating a lot in hands or feet
The fungal nail infection might last anywhere from a few months to a year. Prescription antifungal medications taken by mouth and certain medicinal lotions can be used if the infection persists. In severe circumstances, a doctor may recommend that the nail be removed.
Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infection is also known as Candidiasis, or "vaginal candidiasis," "vulvovaginal candidiasis," or "candidal vaginitis" is caused by a yeast (candida) that lives on our body. However, in case the environment inside the vagina alters in a way that favors Candida growth, it can multiply and produce an infection. Or, you might also have vaginosis.
Symptoms: Itching or soreness in the vagina, abnormal discharge or redness near the vagina, pain during urinating or sexual intercourse.
Causes: Weakened immune system, pregnancy, using hormonal contraceptive, diabetes, changes in the immune system.
The medical terminology for this condition is "tinea" and "dermatophytosis." Ringworm is sometimes known by other names depending on where it is found on the body; for example, ringworm on the feet is sometimes known as "athlete's foot." It's nicknamed "ringworm" because it can cause a circular rash that's usually red and itchy and looks like a ring. Ringworms can affect anyone.
Symptoms: Ringworm symptoms emerge 4 to 14 days after skin contact with the fungus that causes it- Skin rashes, itching, cracked skin, and hair loss. It can be on feet ("athlete's foot"), scalp (tinea capitis), groin (tinea cruris or "jock itch"), or beard (tinea barbae).
Causes: It spreads from the person having ringworm, or an animal that has ringworm. It can survive on surfaces, especially in wet environments like locker rooms and public showers, or it may also be because of wearing tight clothes.
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Home Treatments for Fungal Infections
- Soak your nails in a solution made up of equal parts mouthwash (Listerine) and white vinegar. Soak your nails in the solution for 45 minutes before rinsing them with water and drying them thoroughly. Doing this once or twice a day for 1-2 months can help the fungus on your nails to disappear.
- Dental surgeons utilized tea tree oil to heal wounds in the early 1920s because of its intense antibacterial and antifungal qualities, which made it superior to the antiseptic cream available at the time.
- Oregano oil is antiseptic and antifungal; applying it to the nails could help eliminate the infection.
- Apple cider vinegar has antifungal and anti-inflammatory qualities that eliminate the fungus. Soak infected nails in ACV mixed with equal parts water. Soak it for 30 minutes before washing it in regular water and drying it well with a towel.
- Apply homemade yogurt straight to the afflicted region or soak a tampon in it and wear for 20-30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
- To relieve inflammation, apply a thin layer of freshly extracted aloe vera gel to the affected area.
- Apply a little layer of coconut oil to the affected region and massage gently for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water. To get rid of the Candida fungus, repeat this routine twice a day.
- Dilute 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in tepid water, add a spoonful of honey, and dab it over the fungal infected area with a cotton ball.
- Add white vinegar to a few crushed garlic cloves. Soak the afflicted region in this solution for 10 minutes every day until the fungus disappears.
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Fungal Infections Caused By Weakened Immune Systems
Black Fungus ( Mucormycosis)
Black Fungus or Mucormycosis (also known as zygomycosis) is a dangerous but uncommon fungal infection caused by a fungus known as mucormycosis. Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that primarily affects persons who have health issues (diabetes, HIV, cancer, recovering from COVID-19) or who use medications Immunosuppressants drugs that reduce the body's capacity to resist infections and illness.
Treatment: The infection cannot be treated at home.
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When to See the Doctor?
For patients' outcomes to improve, early detection, diagnosis, and rapid administration of proper antifungal medication are critical. Although home remedies relieve the symptoms, if the infection is severe, seek medical help. Consult a doctor virtually via chat/audio call/video call on The Wellness Corner app in these times of social distancing.