Eezehealth Newsletter
  September 2007
In This Issue
Sharing a Common Cause: Nail and Skin Infections

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TO THE August 2007
Chanelle Steyl



Welcome to our September 2007 Newsletter!
Welkom by die September 2007 Nuusbrief!
I hope that you will find our newsletter helpfull and interesting. Feel free to ask any questions on candida related problems, or if you would like to see a specific article in the newsletter. Request a topic via email and I will gladly try and publish a related article.
Read "Hot news!!!" at the end of this newsletter.
Ek hoop u vind die nuusbrief nuttig en interresant. As u enige probleme of vrae aangaand candida het, of 'n spesifieke artikel in die nuusbrief verlang, kontank my gerus per epos. Lees "Warm nuus!!!" aan die einde van die nuusbrief.


Susan Wassenaar

 Nail and Skin Infections


At first glance, it may seem that a finger or toenail infection and a skin infection have nothing in common. In reality, they often share a common cause as well as a common treatment. Both are the result of candidiasis, an overgrowth of the yeast fungus called candida albicans. This fungus is a regular inhabitant of the intestines, mouth and vagina that is harmless unless conditions are right for its unchecked growth that leads to overabundance. When this occurs, it causes several health problems such as vaginal yeast infections, "jock itch," and oral thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth). Nails and skin are also affected by a candida overgrowth.


Bodily conditions have to be just right for candida to flourish. For example, the body has to be vulnerable to this infection of opportunity by having a weakened immune system from medical problems such as cancer, AIDS, fibromyalgia, diabetes and lupus. In addition, some medications cause a candida overgrowth such as corticosteroids, chemotherapy drugs, and antibiotics. A poor diet, stress, personal heredity and chronic fatigue also contribute to candida overgrowth.


Candidal paronychia is a yeast infection of the nail beds. This infection causes pain, redness and swelling. Often, nails affected by candida albicans turn yellow, brown or white, and may actually separate from the nail bed. The infection frequently occurs in people who have diabetes or a weakened immune system as previously explained. It also appears in people whose hands are frequently wet from washing, swimming and other activities.


An issue not commonly known is that a nail candida infection can occur among women who wear artificial or acrylic fingernails. If the nail technician fails to securely seal the artificial nail to the natural nail, there can be a small, empty pocket created that collects moisture. Since candida flourishes in warm, moist environments, it will quickly inhabit the area under the nail. Contrary to myth, soaking the affected finger in bleach will not eliminate the infection. The artificial nail must be removed and the fungal infection properly treated.


Candida albicans causes infection in skin folds, a condition known as "intertriginous infection." The yeast fungus flourishes around the anus, under a woman's breasts, in the navel, in the armpits, and skin folds around the stomach. This infection causes a bright red rash that may be accompanied by an odd softening and breakdown of the skin. Small pustules can occur, especially at the edge of the rash, causing intense itching and painful burning. An anal candida skin rash may be white or red, raw, and itchy. Babies in diapers are subject to this type of infection in the diapered area since it provides the warm, moist conditions that candida needs in order to grow unchecked. When candida infections appear in the genital area of adults, it may be that hot, moist conditions were allowed to occur by someone wearing clothing that is too tight or made from spandex rather than "breathable" cotton. Obese persons are at risk for this type of infection due to excessive skin folds. Personal hygiene is essential in keeping candida at bay.


Candidiasis of the skin is easily treated with antifungal creams that are applied to the affected areas for seven to ten days. A mild steroid cream can also be used to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the infection. If such creams are not effective, the area can be treated with gentian violet, a purple dye that, when painted on the rash, kills the yeast.


Fungal nail infections are stubborn, and not easily cured. Mild infections are most often treated with an antifungal drug that is painted onto the nail; it penetrates the nail and works its way into the infected nail bed below. Another alternative is an oral candida-killer in pill form. These medications work very slowly, perhaps taking as long as a year to completely eliminate the yeast infection. Physicians recommend wearing well-fitting shoes rather than stylish but overly tight shoes, and using a foot power to keep the feet dry. As always, prevention is much easier than curing the infection once it has taken hold.


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