After working with the Pinpointe fungal laser for over a year I thought it was time to put my observations down.
This condition is confusing and complicated and has any number of permutations of causes. It poses a challenge to work out “exactly” why one gets this condition.
Conventional wisdom leads us to believe that we are simply victims of a fungal invasion, infection, that we simply ‘picked it up’ generally around public environments, gyms, pools etc. It’s not to say that this does not happen. I think it entirely plausable to pick up an infection. But seriously…how would this present on the toe…….one toe , two maybe…..but all 10? I think not.
Picking up an infection would fall into the incidental category of bad luck…and most certainly I think this type of infection is not going to suddenly invade and aggresivly destroy the nail or jump on others that easily. I also think, that catching it early enough with topical medications has a reasonable chance of success. But not always…as I will attempt to explain later.
So…what about the rest of us, what about the ones who present with multiple toe infections. How does the previous model fit with them…..Did they ‘pick up’ their infection???….I think not . So what is going on.
Well…there are a few other considerations to think about.
Women. What do women do? They stuff their feet into tight shoes, this compresses the toes, drives blood from the tips, puts the nails under pressure…and what does this lead to?…Callus, Hard skin, nail thickening, nail trauma and opens the door for toenail fungus.
On top of that, having one’s favourite colour plastered onto the nails. Don’t get me wrong, I would not have my Lady do it any other way. But… does it have to stay on ALL summer? Nail Polish stops the nail from getting oxygen… in addition it comprises some nasty chemicals that discolour the nails.
And what about those joints where you go for a cheap pedicure. Im sure not all the establishments are that unprofessional. But cross infection has to be high on the list of why some women get exposed to fungal nail infection from unclean and unsterilised instruments.
Pushing cuticles back can be detrimental to seal that protects the toe allowing organisms to reside, in addition to filing with unsterilised instuments…get the Picture? Ask to see how they sterilise their instuments.
Only an autoclave at 121degrees centigrade can kill the contaminated tools.
Nail trauma can occur in other ways too…. some people simply have feet that dont work very well. flat feet, hypermobile feet, high arched feet all have their own way of working and placing the toes under pressure even in sensible footwear. It is the act of motion , or incorrect motion that can lead to nail trauma. Nail trauma can allow Nail fungus to take root.
The feet can be prone to change as well, the feet you had as a child may not be what you have now. Arches can drop, muscle imbalances can occur, deformity of joints, arthritis and various other conditions can arise. Poor or diminished circulation can open the door to fungal infection.
Circulation can diminish as we get older, but certain conditions like Diabetes can make it worse. Diabetics have a very high incidence of fungal infections. The elderly who suffer from compromised circulation due to sedentary lifesyles…..get stuck in a chair or are not as mobile as they used to be.
And this brings me to the next line of investigation…..what else can lead to fungal infections.
in my experience, having worked as a Podiatrist for 22 years. I have never seen as many younger people getting this problem as I do now. It was unheard of below 45 or so. Because fungus is an organism that takes advantage of a compromised immune system.
How does a younger person acheive this situation??
Well I will try to explain……Have you ever been a sickly child, ever run off to the Doctors every 5 minutes just to get Another set of Antibiotics. Well, imagine what this does to your bodies natural defences. Antibiotics may not discriminate between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. The imbalance that occurs may open the door to fungal infection. Wow…now we are starting to open up a can of worms. Antibiotics exist even without our awarness….ie: the meat we eat…how do they keep the animals healthy?? Then we eat them….so…all this interference in the natural chain has a potential influence on our health.
This brings me onto my next reason…
Our Health….Although I must admit, more and more of my patients are conscious of staying healthy, especially the middle aged. They are probably fitter and healthier than they were as teenagers. Perhaps a bit of experience and wisdom goes a long way. But!!! not everyone is as enlightened.
Middleagers are realising that YOLO… (you only live once) means that you dont go and get hammered every weekend. It means that you have to look after the body you got, or the shit Will!!! hit the fan when you get older. Keeping fit….in whatever way you choose, is a good way of improving circulation, muscle tone and general well being.
However…getting older means more Biomechanical problems……and the incidence of nail trauma is higher, which can lead on to infections as well.
Some of us still smoke…Smoking…UGH!! How can you still breathe that crap into your body, and still look at yourself in the mirror and smile. If you want to start on the road to get healthier….well, need I lecture?
What about Drugs!! How many of us did a little bit of experimenting in our youth…or even worse still endulge in chemical happiness. Have you for one moment considered the impact on your general health and well being??? I’m not sure, becuase the amount of Mid-30’s coming in with All 10 nails infected, has me wondering.
Then there is out Diet…what we put in our mouths. Our dietary habits have an impact on our our health in every way imaginable. We ARE exactly a product of what we eat. Today’s food is so processed, interfered with, that who knows what is in it half the time. The main culprits to consider when looking at food is….Sugar, and food where it is hidden, Wheat Products, corn oil, sunflower oil…Already these few things are in so much of our food and can have an influence on our health, weight gain, energy, skin condition, depression, anxiety, insomnia …just to name a few.
These thinks exist in so much of what we consume everyday without much thought. Even our relationship to alcohol can be questioned. There is so much sugar in drink, beer, cider and soft drinks.
I would hate to say to anyone to give up drinking, but it really is about moderation, and considered consumption. There is always a price to pay for over use of anything at all.
The diet high in sugar or wheat products can lead to fauna and flora imbalances in the gut…this can lead to a whole array of health complaints…which are often tackled individually, but actually represent a basket of symptoms that point towards and unbalanced body.
Fungus loves to thrive in situations like this.
And if you want to try cure the condition, I think it is important to educate yourself and adapt your lifestyle to help your body get healthier enabling it to fight the condition. In other words…..treatment is more complex than simply taking a pill, or putting on a cream .
Nutritional deficiencies may play a role as well. Unhealthy dietary choices can leave the body depleted of minerals and vitamins, opening up the door to fungal infections.
There are some quality although somewhat expensive products one can take, that will boost the over all health. I have a lot of faith in Cellfood www.heavenearth.co.uk, and GNLD www.gnld.com , as a source of supremely good quality and effective nutrients. Unfortunately, we have to rely on supplements to fill the gaps that even a good diet may not fill. This is the 21st century after all, if food was as natural and organic as the dark ages, I would not be so concerned.
So these products are quality, and may help the body in addition to an improved dietary adjustment ie. reducing the foods I mentioned before, to strengthen up the immune system to fight off this very nasty resilient condition.
I trust this helps