Many people suffering painful nail infections ask, "Can naturopaths treat Candida paronychia?" The answer is yes they can, using simple herbal medicine techniques to directly treat the infection and boost the patient's immune system.
Candida paronychia refers to a painful infection of the nail fold. Candida albicans, a yeast that naturally grows in the gastrointestinal tract, sets up shop in the fingernails. Candida paronychia infections can also strike the toes and toenails, although the most common infection site is the nail bed. Injury to the nail bed, either through physical trauma or chemical trauma, makes nails more prone to infection. Candida paronychia responds well to holistic treatment. This answers the question "Can naturopaths treat Candida paronychia?" since naturopaths focus on holistic healing.
Symptoms of Candida Paronychia
General physicians and dermatologists diagnose Candida paronychia through a combination of an assessment of the symptoms and sometimes diagnostic tests. First, the doctor will examine the nail bed for the typical symptoms of Candida paronychia, such as redness, swelling, or tenderness in the skin surrounding the nail bed. The nail itself may appear discolored, although in some cases the nail shows no sign of problems. The fingernail area is usually very painful to the touch. If left untreated, the nail may eventually fall off.
Diagnostic tests for Candida paronychia may include aspiration, in which the finger is anesthetized using a local pain block, and a sample is taken from the affected digit. The results can help the doctor determine if bacteria, fungi, or yeast such as Candida albicans causes the infection. Doctors will prescribe medications to combat the infection and may recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding immersing your hands in water or stopping the use of artificial fingernails.
Can Naturopaths Help Treat Candida Paronychia Effectively?
Naturopaths can certainly help treat Candida paronychia, along with many other illnesses. Naturopaths, or Doctors of Naturopathy, treat patients holistically. While you can certainly see them for a specific problem, such as a Candida paronychia infection, a doctor of naturopathy looks beyond the immediate disease to your entire lifestyle. He or she may recommend specific changes in diet, sleep, exercise or hygiene.
Common antifungal herbs may be used to treat the infection, or perhaps homeopathic remedies. The doctor may recommend an all-over Candida prevention regimen, since an infection like Candida paronychia often points to an immune system stressed beyond the point at which it can cope with normal organisms. He or she may also recommend herbs to cleanse the body of toxins and strengthen the entire immune system.
Herbal Treatment for Candida Paronychia
Many herbs may be used to combat Candida infections, as well as directly treat the nail fold infection itself. As with all holistic treatments, tell your doctor what herbs you are using so he or she can advise you on the best course of treatment.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, derived from the Australian tea tree, contains powerful antifungal elements. A few drops of tea tree oil, applied directly to the nail fold area and massaged into the skin, works directly on the infection site. You may need to continue this treatment for several weeks or months until the infection clears up entirely. It's also important to keep hands clean and dry while treating Candida paronychia and to avoid the situation that encouraged the infection to begin in the first place.
For example, if you believe that frequent manicures and artificial nails preceded the infection, you may want to skip the salon in the future and wait to get a manicure again until the doctor gives you the all-clear that the infection has completely healed.
Anyone who experiences frequent bouts of Candida infections, whether it's Candida paronychia or vaginal yeast infections, can benefit from immune boosting herbs. If you have a compromised immune system or are taking any medications for autoimmune diseases, do not take these herbs until you've spoken with your doctor, and consult your doctor and naturopath about the best course of action. An excellent herb to boost the immune system is Echinacea. A tincture of Echinacea, as prescribed by an herbalist or naturopath, can boost your immune system's response to fight the Candida paronychia infection. Another herbs taken internally to treat Candida infection is cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper increases circulation, and a cayenne and lemon juice drink is frequently used to cleanse the system.
Lastly, naturopaths skilled in the Indian medicine system called ayurveda may prescribe specific herbs to treat Candida infections. Ayurvedic_Protocols_for_Candida call for simple dietary changes and incorporating specific herbs into the diet. Garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and other spices and herbs may be prescribed to treat Candida infections.
A naturopath also examines the patient's diet, and determines if the diet is contributing to the disease or the cure. A naturopath may recommend dietary changes for patients who frequently struggle with Candida infections. A Candida diet eliminates sugars, which are thought to encourage the growth of yeast. A cleansing diet also helps by cleansing impurities from the system, paving the way for the body's natural defenses to aid in healing.