All About Nail Fungal Infection

Nail Fungal infection is one of the most common conditions of the toenails. It makes up about 50% of the total diseases of the nails. It is also one of the most common health conditions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) estimates that about 3%  to 12% of the world’s population has nail fungal infection. Fungus, like many other microorganisms, is found inside the human body. When these fungi grow beyond what they are expected to produce, health problems will become evident. For more related information  (i.e symptoms, causes, treatments) about this nail condition read on below.

Symptoms Associated With Nail Fungus

Nail Fungal infection is also known as Onychomycosis (clinical name) or Tinea Unguium (scientific name). It is a more common fungal infection in adults and usually appears on the big toenails. When these fungi infect the toenails, they start off as whitish or yellowish tinge on the tips of the nails. This discoloration may sometimes be taken as an effect of constant nail painting, hence may be disregarded as normal. However, the fungi can multiply rapidly. Eventually, most of the nails will be transformed. Here are other symptoms associated with nail fungal infection.

  • thickening of nails
  • the nails become brittle
  • the nails become deformed
  • the nails may break
  • the nails may be detached from the nail bed when the infection gets worse

If the condition is taken for granted, there may come a time that the affected area may become painful. Exercising, walking, even standing, may likewise become challenging once the condition worsens.

Causes of Nail Fungus Infection

The infection starts to spread when a fungus finds its way to the nail bed. There are several fungi that can cause the development of this infection. However, the fungi called dermatophytes (skin fungal) are the most common cause of the infection. There are times when yeast and molds may also because of it.

Other common causes of nail fungus are as follows:

  • skin infection (like an athlete’s foot) may spread to the toenails and start to settle underneath the nails.
  • nails that previously damaged make it easier for infection to set in.
  • a weak immune system
  • poor personal hygiene
  • places where the climate is hot or humid
  • pre-existing conditions like diabetes and psoriasis
  • direct skin contact with things or person with the infection

Common treatments for nail fungus infection

There are a number of ways that this condition may be treated. You can either resort to OTC medications or prescribed medications. You may also consider home remedies to improve the condition of your nails. Here are the common treatment method used for each of these approaches.

OTC Medications. There are several over-the-counter medications available for the best fungal nail treatment. The treatment process using these treatment options may require several months before the expected result is achieved. It can take up to four months before the infection is cleared out. They may not be as effective in treating the nail condition unlike prescribed medications, but they are still worth the try.

Some opt to use OTC colorless nail polish as it usually contains the ingredients amorolfine or ciclopirox. These substances are able to exterminate the fungi or hamper their growth. Other over-the-counter options include antifungal creams that contain an ingredient known as urea. Topical treatments containing the drug bifonazole are also used as another OTC treatment alternative.

Prescription Treatments. Podiatrists may have different treatment plans for depending on the intensity of the infection that a person has. Oral medications, topical applications, and surgery are the options provided for the patient. Options will be provided only after an examination and a lab test are conducted as these will ensure that the appropriate treatment is prescribed to the patient. Common oral medications prescribed for onychomycosis are itraconazole (Sporanox) or terbinafine (Lamisil) as well as Fluconazole (Diflucan).

Topical treatments prescribed, on the other hand, may be one of the following: ciclopirox (Loprox, Penlac). It can also be a cream that contains bifonazole/urea, propylene glycol-urea-lactic acid. Other cream options are imidazoles (such as ketoconazole – Nizoral Cream)  and allylamines (such as terbinafine – Lamisil Cream).

For more severe infection, the podiatrist may advise having the infected nail to be surgically removed. This will allow the removal of the infection quicker. A new nail will grow in time. Meanwhile, the patient may opt to put on a nail  acrylic to protect the nail bed while waiting for the new nail to grow underneath.

Home Remedies. There are those who would rather resort to a more natural form of remedy to treat their nail fungus. Some of these have proven to be effective in treating the condition, including the following:

  • Mentholated cream like vapor rub. This study proved that this is an effective treatment method for onychomycosis.
  • Tea tree oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Snakeroot extract
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Vinegar

Treating nail fungus can be time-consuming. The condition itself can be self-defeating. Those who have it might find the condition to be recurring if the treatment is not effective or if the person is not well aware of how to prevent such nail condition. There are times that one with nail fungus might find it difficult to land a job as well. Hiring officers might think it will affect the effectivity and efficiency of the prospective employee. As the condition is contagious, others may also be infected if an infected person is hired. Such situations may prove to be challenging and demeaning to a person and will definitely affect the infected person’s self-esteem.

Most prescription medications may also have side effects, hence a constant consultation with the specialist is necessary. To ensure that you won’t get the infection, it is best to keep your toenails and fingernails always properly trimmed, clean, and dry. It is best to be in places where cleanliness is maintained and where equipment and tools are always sanitized. You also need to make sure to keep your immune system healthy. It is also best that you keep your nails protected from injury and unnecessary pressure.

Nail Fungus can easily be eradicated if at the onset you will take the necessary steps to kill the fungi. Keeping your body healthy is one of the best ways you can do to ensure that your body’s defense mechanism will be strong enough to ward off the harmful microorganisms that will try sneak in and breed a battalion that can endanger your nails.

Professional Guide in the Proper Use of Pedicure Files

Lovely nails on those lovely feet — these are such a treat for every woman. The truth of the matter, however, is that before those nails could take such notable shape and squicky shine, they need to be formed, buffed, and filed. It takes some time before you can finally enjoy weeks of gorgeous and flawless looking nails.

One of the tools that could do such a marvelous trick on your nails is a pedicure file. Callus form on your skin where there are more pressure and friction. Every time you have your nails done, foot files are used to remove these thick and dry skin from the bottom of your feet to make them look healthier, cleaner hence, more appealing. This will also allow more oxygen to pass through the skin pores. Having your foot file is also a great way to improve blood circulation.

When done the right way, you can benefit from having your foot filed.

1. If the skin on your foot is filed the right way, will remove unsightly calluses on your skin. Calluses develop from using ill-fitting footwear and high heels. If you leave those callused feet untreated it will soon be inconvenient to walk. It may also cause an infection and can be really painful.

2. Foot filing also improves the circulation of blood in the feet as the process allow more nutrients to be supplied easily to the skin cells. Pressure is supplied on your feet while filing, including pressure points, which may also contribute to an overall good feeling that you may have after the process.

3. This also allows more oxygen to be supplied to the feet, making the skin looking healthier and improves the self-repair process of the skin as dead layers of the skin is removed. As a foot pedicure involves a massage, it helps relieve tension on the skin, muscles, and the joints. It makes you feel energized, refreshed and relaxed. If you feel great down on your feet, chances are your overall happiness level is improved as well as your overall emotional state. Feeling less stressed makes it easier to be more positive and be a lot healthier from the inside out.

4. A lot of cleaning and gentle scrubbing down those feet to remove dead skin cells will expose the newly formed layer of skin that looks smooth, silky, and soft. You can get rid of cracked heels, dirt, and other skin contaminants that may be clinging on your feet.

When should you use a foot file?

Best pedicure foot files  were once only used as an element of having a pedicure. Today, foot files are also used during spa treatments and to revitalize the skin. When having a pedicure, a foot file is used either when the feet are soaked in a pedicure solution (wet filing) or after drying the soaked feet in the solution (dry filing).

Pedicure foot files are also used for different types of herbal as well as stone spa treatments. These treatments help remove dead skin cells from pressure points on the feet. This can be done at a salon by a professional technician or on your own at the comfort of your home.

The process is quite easy and simple. You’ll be done in no time if you’ll do it on your own. You’ll just have to clean your feet with water and pat them dry with a towel before filing down the dead skin off your feet. Use a pedicure foot file to gently rub on your feet and remove calluses from them. Use a towel to remove the dry skin that the foot file removed from your feet. You will also need to apply some foot moisturizing cream or baby lotion once you are done filing.

3. Step by Step Guide in the Proper Use of a Pedicure Foot File

This is a simple guide on how you can properly and easily remove dead skin cells on your feet using a pedicure foot file. If done correctly, you will surely love the result. Your feet will be squeaky clean and will look fresh and smooth all over.

1. Dry the foot that you have soaked in lukewarm water mixed with some foot soak like the Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak With Epsom Salt and Purely Northwest Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak, before drying the foot with a towel. After patting dry the foot, just hold the foot from the ankle and start filing from the heel. Rub your heel file using a hard back and forth motion to remove the top layer (dead skin cells).

2. Once you’re done filing your heel, move towards the center of the foot and rub with a foot file using a circular motion. From the center of the foot, move back to the sides of the heels and rub them again in a right to left or left to right motion. Once you are done with the sole of your foot, you can now move to your toes. Rub the outer side of your thumb and pinky finger a little harder in back and forth motions. Use small circular motions to file your fingers. Once everything looks clean and leveled, rub the whole foot to remove the excess dry skin off your feet with a towel.

With regular foot filing, you can improve the overall look of the skin on your feet as well as your overall health. Just make sure that you keep your file clean and to ensure that no bacteria or fungus will be left clinging on any portion of your foot file.

Bearded Dragon Care 101

Bearded Dragons are one of the most favored reptile pets and it is quite easy to see why. Many pet owners just love these docile dragons. They do have a particular traits that set them apart from other reptiles and they are also easy to handle and care for. Many keepers have found them to be willing to be pet and quite tamed when handled. If you can follow the general guidelines in the proper setup of their habitat as well as managing their diet, you can manage them with no issues at all.

These docile pets are also easy to breed. If you can provide them with the right husbandry, you can keep them as long as a decade and even longer.

To help you with the most common concerns related to handling and caring for bearded dragons, we have prepared this guideline that you can refer to any time. If you feel and think that this has helped you in any way, we will appreciate it if you will share the knowledge as well. You will find important information on how to properly set up the dragon’s enclosure, as well as the heating, lighting, and accessories for your pet dragon.

Enclosure

One to two baby or juvenile bearded dragons can live comfortably in an enclosure as small as 40 gallons (36″ x 18″ x 13″H). A bigger enclosure of about 70 gallons (36″ x 18″ x 25″H) to about 90 gallons (48″ x 18″ x 25″H) will make an excellent space for adults. You may need to place a secure screen top to prevent your dragons from getting out of its cage.

Female bearded dragons can be placed in a similar size cage together. Males, however, are territorial should not be placed in the same enclosure as they will just fight off for space. But, you can house a male and several females together. You can do this only if you are an experienced reptile enthusiast as there can be problems that may arise and cause stress for any of the dragons. It may also cause the dragons to get sick and even die early. Note that even multiple females will fight for survival so you have to make sure that all dragons (if you put more than one in the same enclosure) are receiving an appropriate share of the food, heat, humidity, and so on. For really small or big reptiles, it is best that place each in separate cages.

Substrate

There are several options that you can use for a substrate. Though some prefer sand for larger or adult bearded dragons as they provide a more natural look in the enclosure, some would rather opt for alternatives. Reports of impaction were a major concern, so many dragon keepers would rather use a reptile carpet, liner, or a sand mat instead. There are a wide variety of beddings that you can find online as well as in local pet stores. Whatever you opt to choose for your dragon’s substrate, make sure that you check for any possible hazards in them.

For juvenile or baby dragons, you may use paper towels, shred papers, or similar products until they have grown to about 10 inches long. Younger dragons are more active feeders and the probability of them ingesting some of the substrates while nibbling crickets and other insects is quite high.

Heating

Like all other reptiles, your pet dragon needs much heat, especially during the day. A bearded dragon will need a thermal gradient of about 100° to 110° F for its basking spot and 80° F for the cool side. The proper way to heat your pet’s enclosure is by combining the heat of a heat mat and a ceramic heat emitter.

To ensure that your dragon is provided the right heat any time of the day, you will need to include a thermostat when setting up your pet’s housing. You will also need to monitor the temperatures with a thermometer to keep track of the warm and cool sides of the enclosure.

Lighting

Bearded Dragons also need the right lighting setup in its cage. A best UVB Bulb for Bearded Dragon properly installed in its housing will do the trick and will keep them healthy. Options for this bearded dragon accessory includes SunForce UV Mercury Vapor Bulb and Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 bulb. You have to make sure that your dragon stays in a safe distance from the bulb, however. You also need to make sure that the bulb is functioning well. If it needs to be replaced (a bulb usually needs a replacement after every 6 months) have it changed right away.

Shelter

Your pet will also need to take shelter from time to time, especially during the night. It can be anything as a basic hide box to a more complex or decorative cave. Always keep one side of the shelter facing the warm side of the enclosure and the other half the side. It should be strong enough to withstand any unforeseen movements within or outside the cage that may endanger the dragon if it collapses.

Food

These docile pets are not picky eaters. They will feast on a large number of giant mealworms, super worms, crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and even pinkie mice. Juvenile and baby bearded dragons, however, need to be fed with insects twice a day. Adults, on the other hand, will find once daily to be enough.

Feed your dragons as many crickets or mealworms that it can consume in 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure that the insect that you feed your dragon will not be longer than the distance between its eyes. Once your dragon is full, take all leftover from the enclosure.

Dragons also eat greens. They eat more greens but lesser insects as they mature. Lettuce, cucumber, dandelion, green beans, carrots, sweet potato and other healthy greens can be given to your dragon. Just make sure to chop or grate them before offering to your pet dragon. You may also give them fruits like papaya and grapes, but this will consist only a small part of their diet.

Water

Water should be provided to your dragon three to four times a week to allow them to soak and clean themselves. Of course, they also need some water to go with the food. You can have their food misted as well as their cage so that they can get the right humidity that they need for the day with best reptile humidifier. They may need more of that when they are getting ready to shed their skin.

Vitamins

Your pet dragon will need high-quality food. Keepers normally gut load insects or prey before feeding them to the dragon. You will also need to coat the animal food source for your dragon with vitamin and calcium powders before offering them to your reptile.

Shedding

All reptiles and amphibians shed their entire skin at once. Younger reptiles shed more often than adults, however. Some dragons won’t have problems pulling off their skin. There are some, however, that may need help with that, especially if they do not have the proper humidity while shedding.

If you noticed your dragon has retained skin after shedding place it in a small container lined with warm, wet paper towels. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes or until the skin is soft enough to be removed with a pair of tweezers.

Cage Maintenance

Make sure that you keep your dragon’s cage clean. Remove feces with a scooper 2 to 3 times a week or as needed. The sand substrate should be replaced, however, and the enclosure should be washed with and deodorized at least once every four to five months. Paper towel substrates should be changed at least once a week.

Proper husbandry is needed to ensure that your dragon will live long and well. Regularly check the condition of your dragon’s enclosure to ensure that the right heat, lighting, and humidity is provided for it as well.

Pyrethrins And Permethrins: Ectoparasites Treatment For Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon are often prey to these ectoparasites or external parasites: mites, ticks, biting flies, and, to a lesser extent, leeches. Many reptile keepers think of these parasites as just a nuisance or an inconvenience. In reality, they can cause or contribute to very serious sickness. If any parasite infestation is left untreated, this may pose a greater risk on the health of the reptile.

The best way to treat an infestation is to allow a herp vet to diagnose the condition of the reptiles. The vet will examine and weigh the reptile. Once a full diagnosis is completed, the vet will prescribe the appropriate treatment method that should be used to eradicate the reptiles infesting the reptile.

Fresh droppings may also be sent to the veterinarian who will perform fecal parasite examinations to determine the particular microorganisms that may have caused the pathology.

There are a number of drugs used in the removal and termination of infestation. For Mites and ticks, drugs and insecticides used include ivermectin, dichlorvos (No-Pest) strips, as well as several variations of pyrethrins and permethrins.

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids

These compounds are used as insecticides and have been found in more than 3,500 registered products. Many of these products are used around households like those that are used to clean pets and in treating clothes, in controlling mosquitoes, as well as in agriculture. The use of these compounds has increased with the declining use of organophosphate pesticides, which are considered even more toxic to birds and mammals than the pyrethroids.

Pyrethrins as a treatment for ectoparasites

Pyrethrin is a collective term used for a class of insecticidal compounds extracted from the pyrethrum flowers (Chrysanthemums). There is a  wide variety of pyrethrin- and  permethrin-based products that are formulated for small animal medicine and have been specifically used to treat both ticks and mites. These compounds have been registered for use since the 1950s. Note, however, that there are several reported deaths associated with the use of these compounds.

While many have found these compounds extremely helpful in treating ectoparasites like mites and ticks. Even if these compounds are considered less toxic than other chemicals, that does not mean that they are safe for use. Several reports relating to various health problems linked to pyrethroids had increased to about 300 times within a decade. The problems reported included the following concerns: burning and tingling skin, respiratory trouble, involuntary twitching, dizziness, nausea, fainting, convulsions, and seizures. One reference indicates that there have been 50 deaths associated with the use of these compounds since 1992.

Considering these toxicity problems, I would not suggest using these methods of treatment for your pet. Even if you can wear a protective suit while using the treatment outside an open space, the risk is still great as your pet may touch other materials within the surrounding that you  may later touch. The compound may also evaporate to the air and may be inhaled.

For the proper treatment of ectoparasites, I still recommend allowing a highly-trained and certified veterinarian to diagnose and treat your reptile pet.

Also note that if your pet is diagnosed with an infection it is best that you take everything out, including his enclosure. Have it thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to ensure that any trace of the parasites that may have landed on any part of the enclosure as well as any items set inside it will be thoroughly eradicated.

It is also best that you have your pets regularly for any pathogen. Observe good husbandry to ensure that your pet will stay healthy and safe from parasitic infections. For additional information on the proper handling of your pet reptile, consult a local vet.

In the course of treatment, you always have to clean cages, troughs, food trays for them, and always provide them with the best food for Bearded Dragon.