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Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are caused by various types of fungi and they usually affect the skin, mucous membranes and moist environments on the human body. Common fungal infections include the jock itch in the groin area, athlete’s foot, yeast infections in the vagina and thrush in the mouth. The symptoms of these infections are itches, irritated or flaky skin, and even blistering in cases of flare-ups while the nail infection is indicated by softened white marks that can elevate the nail bed. Ringworm, another fungal infection, is marked by slow-healing red scaly skin and the appearance of rings that can affect any area of the body, even the scalp, groin and facial hair areas. Systemic fungal infections are also possible.

Causes

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

Supplements

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

Herbal remedies

Herbs like the black walnut, myrrh and castor bean oil can be consumed as anti-fungal supplements with virtually no side effects. Aloe vera based gel sooths the skin and effectively eliminates parasites. Whey is another natural remedy which can be applied on the affected area by soaking the cotton cloth in the liquid and leaving it on during 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 the infection if applied topically. Five drops of tea tree oil added to water make an ointment that is applied on the dry skin. Another effective topical treatment can be obtained by mixing calendula cream with the flax seed oil. It should be applied minimum twice a day to the affected area.

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