Infected Nails 

Nails are a horn-like envelope covering the tips of the fingers and toes. They are made of a tough protective protein called keratin. Healthy nails beds are pink, indicating a rich blood supply.

Nails abnormalities indicate nutritional deficiencies or an underlying disorder. Nail infections increase with aging.

Bacteria, fungi and viral warts which can infect the nail causing problems such as discoloration, dryness, distortion or pain, enter the nail when it is cut, exposed to irritating chemicals or crushed.

 

The following are the most likely causes that we can observe in our nails

  • Brittle or crumbly nails: Mostly is a sign of long-term exposure to chemicals or water or zinc deficiency. They may also signify a fungal nail infection, an under-, overactive thyroid or nail psoriasis.
  • Cuts and cracks in nails may indicate the need for more water intake
  • Discoloured nails: Yellow nails are a sign of fungal nail infection or nail It may also indicate problems with the lymphatic system, sinusitis, jaundice, chronic paronychia, or diabetes.

Green-black nails if it isn’t a nail fungal infection such as pseudomonas, it may be an internal bacterial infection.

Grey nails can be caused by medication such as minocycline.

White nails with pink near the tips can be a sign of cirrhosis.

  • Thick nails may signify a fungal nail infection, a bad blood circulation or a thyroid disease.
  • A half-white nail with dark spots at the tips indicates kidney problem.
  • Overgrown horn-like toenails, (known as onychogryphosis). The nails become too hard to cut them. It is a disease that we usually see in older people or after a long-term pressure on the nails.
  • Thinning nails may signify lichen planus.
  • Loose toenails: It is an injury caused by an over-manicuring and cleaning under the nails with a sharp object. It may also indicate a fungal nail infection, psoriasis, poor circulation, warts or an allergic reaction.
  • Downward curved nail ends may indicate heart, liver or respiratory problems.
  • Red skin around the cuticles may signify a poor metabolism of essential fatty acids or lupus.
  • Unusually wide, square nails can suggest a hormonal disorder.
  • White lines running across nails are a sign of low levels of protein in the blood due to liver disease or malnutrition.
  • Nails separated from the nail bed may signify a local infection or a thyroid disorder.
  • Nails that broaden toward the tip and curve downward are a sign of lung damage.
  • If the white moon area of the nail turns red, it may indicate heart problems.
  • Nails with coloring hammered brass indicate a tendency toward partial or total hair los
  • Flat nails can indicate Raynaud's disease.

 

Recommendations

  • Take Lactobacillus daily. It helps restore beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
  • Soak the nails in warm olive oil for ten minutes daily. They strengthen.
  • Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates.
  • Avoid tight-fitting shoes or gloves.
  • Wear cotton or wool socks in order to allow moisture to escape from the feet.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream daily in order to prevent dryness.
  • Eat a diet rich in sulfur and silicon such as fish, broccoli, or sea vegetables.
  • Apply tincture of iodine to the nails until they become health.
  • Keep nails clipped.
  • Take supplements of vitamins B-complex, C, D, silica, zinc, calcium and magnesium, and iron.
  • Drink a lot of water and a fresh carrot juice daily.
  • Take a diet rich in essential fatty acids, kelp or spirulina.
  • Eat citrus fruits, vinegar and salt.
  • Eat fresh fruits and raw vegetables
  • Take care of the instruments that use your manicurist. They must be sterile.
  • If you wear nail polish, use a base coat underneath it to prevent yellowing.

 

Beneficial Herbs

Herb

Form

Benefits

Alfalfa

Tablets

Strengthens the nails

Barberry

Tincture

Antibacterial, anti-fungal

Black cohosh

Tablets

Strengthens the nails

Black currant oil                

Capsules

Strengthens weak nails

Bloodroot

Salve

Stops bacterial infections at nail borders

Borage seed oil

Capsules or softgels 

Nourishes the nails

Burdock root

Oil

Strengthens the nails

Chamomile

Oil

Helps blood circulation

Coix

Cereal

Stimulates the immune system to fight viruses that cause warts under nails

Coptis

Tincture

Antibacterial, anti-fungal

Dandelion root

Capsules

Strengthens the nails

Echinacea

Tincture

Controls pseudomonas, which causes greening of the nails

Flaxseed

Capsules

Nourishes the nails

Gingko biloba

Tablets

Helps blood circulation

Goldenseal

Tincture

Antibacterial, nails anti-fungal

Gotu kola

Tincture

Strengthens the nails

Lemongrass

Oil

Nourishes the nails

Oregon grape root

Tincture

Antibacterial, anti-fungal

Parsley

 

Nourishes the nails

Pau d’arco

Capsules

Stimulates the immune system to destroy yeast cells

Primrose

Oil

Nourishes the nails

Pumpkin seed

Capsules

Nourishes the nails

Rosemary

Oil

Helps blood circulation

Sage

Tablets, oil

Nourishes the nails

Sassafras

Oil

Helps blood circulation

Scutellaria

Tincture

Kills many bacteria and fungi that infect nails

Tea tree

Oil

Controls yeast infections under the nails

Turmeric

Powder

Helps blood circulation

Walnut leaf

Salve

Astringent

Yellow dock

Oil, capsules, tablets

Strengthens the nails