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Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are caused by various types of fungi andthey usually affect the skin, mucous membranes and moist environments on thehuman body. Common fungal infections include the jock itch in the groin area, athlete’sfoot, yeast infections in the vagina and thrush in the mouth. The symptoms ofthese infections are itches, irritated or flaky skin, and even blistering incases of flare-ups while the nail infection is indicated by softened whitemarks that can elevate the nail bed. Ringworm, another fungal infection, ismarked by slow-healing red scaly skin and the appearance of rings that canaffect any area of the body, even the scalp, groin and facial hair areas. Systemicfungal infections are also possible.

Causes

Fungal infections are highly contagious and resistant to antibioticsand other medication. They sometimes occur as a consequence of medication use,including cortisone, antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Hormonal changes inwomen can also result in the occurrence of fungal infections especially inpregnancy. Different chemicals and perfumed cosmetics interfere withthe natural acidity of the human skin and can be responsible for a greatersusceptibility to fungal infections. Wearing synthetic clothing that inhibits the naturalventilation of skin results in creating an environment in which fungi canthrive. Frequent baths can strip the skin of its natural protective oilsthus raising the risk of an infection. Elderly people and people with the weakened immune systemare also frequently affected by recurring fungal infections.

Supplements

Supplements containing the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteriacan help restore the natural balance in the intestines by promoting the growthof body’s protective bacteria. In addition, B-complex vitamins are essential to the properfunctioning of the immune system while zinc-based supplements make the bodyresistant to fungi. Garlic and citrus seed extract are potent anti-fungalagents. Citrus seed extract in spray or as a dilution can be used externally totreat a fungal infection. Vitamins A and E are essential to skin health, while aidedby vitamin C they boost the immune system.

Herbal remedies

Herbs like the black walnut, myrrh and castor bean oil canbe consumed as anti-fungal supplements with virtually no side effects. Aloe vera based gel sooths the skin and effectivelyeliminates parasites. Whey is another natural remedy which can be applied on theaffected area by soaking the cotton cloth in the liquid and leaving it onduring sleep until the infection has cleared up. Millet and silica improve the skin’s natural resisting properties,while tea tree oil with its antibacterial and fungicidal action heals theinfection if applied topically. Five drops of tea tree oil added to water make anointment that is applied on the dry skin. Another effective topical treatment can be obtained bymixing calendula cream with the flax seed oil. It should be applied minimumtwice a day to the affected area.

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