Fungal nail infection

Mykored anti fungal nail treatment

Our toe nails have several functions, from protecting the bone at the end of the toe to improving the sense of touch. When something goes wrong like discolouration or crumbling, treatment is sought because it either becomes uncomfortable,thickened or looks bad. The title Onychomycosis is the term used when fungal infections attack the nail. It can be a bit of a search finding treatments for nail fungus. Oral medications can be effective but treatment is not always suitable for everyone. Any treatment is often a lengthy process due to the time it takes for the nail to grow. Topical paints with patience are an alternative. Filing down the nail to allow the treatment to penetrate helps the process. Monphytol paint was safe and effective but is no longer available,so the arrival of Mykored also provides an effective and well tolerated treatment. Tests prove effectiveness against the following fungi and yeasts:Trichophyton verrucosum, Trychophyton mentagrophytes , Trychophyton violaceum , Trychophyton rubrum , Epidermophyton fluccosum, Microsporum canis, Candida albicans, and Candida krusei.

Product available from http://www.yourfootcare.com/html/athletes_foot.html

Silver uses ancient and modern

Silver OreSilver, Chemical symbol Ag, coming from the Latin Argentum,has been known for its useful anti-bacterial properties and for reducing the harmful affects of both fungi and viruses. During the Napoleonic Wars Tsar Alexander lined water barrels with silver knowing that Silver purified the drinking water. Further back in time, in 1250 BC, The Phoenicians also knew of the properties of the metal, using Silver bottles they kept both water and wine from spoiling. 

HippocratesThe Greek physician Hippocrates who was born in 460 BC, knew of the healing properties of Silver on wounds. He had simply based his practice on the observations he had made in dealing with the human body. How does this precious metal work on bacteria?   In 1893 Swiss Botanist Karl Kageli discovered what he called the ‘Oligodynamic’ effect. This showed the toxic effect of metal ions on living cells, indeed apart from Silver other metals such as Copper,Iron,Mercury,Gold and Aluminium,amongst others all exibit the same property, that is the ability to inactivate enzymes. 

Antiseptic dyes

LivingstonA recent newspaper article told a story of Scottish explorer Dr David Livingston. Livingston was attacked by a Lion in 1843 leaving eleven deep tooth marks in his arm also splintering the bone–and he survived! The explorers theory was that the tartan jacket he was wearing saved his life wiping the lions teeth clean with the cloth, others who were attacked and not wearing a tartan jacket suffered very painful wounds. Big cats like domestic cats, dogs and rabbits carry the infective Pasturella multicoda in the respiratory tract which could have easily given him septicaemia. Typical dyes of early cloth have included Cochineal: producing Red, Madder (Rubina tinctorum): a Red/purple colour and Weld (Reseda Luteold) :Yellow, all have been found to contain Carminic Acid known to inhibit bacterial growth. So the dyes in his jacket may very well have had the anti bacterial affect on the animals teeth.

In the foot care profession dyes have also been used for their antiseptic properties for many years but have largely fallen out of favour due to the stains produced and a study that linked Gentian Violet to cancer, although it had to be used in large quantities. The main ones used are then Gentian Violet in water or spirit which has anti fungal properties, Brilliant Green used against gram positive organisims and Triple Dye controlling Staphylococcal (gram positive) infections (this made up of Gentian Violet, Brilliant Green and Proflavine Hemisulphate)

Foot creams with Urea

Dry skin and particularly around the heels can be a real problem. The skin fissures and cracks and is unsightly to look at. Softening the skin does make a difference and a visit to the Podiatrist to remove the skin improves things enormously for both relief and appearance. Foot creams come in many differing types and can be very useful in the fight against painful heel cracking. Many contain the ‘humectant’ Urea. (humectant: absorbs water from the air, a hygroscopic substance). Urea is an effective moisturiser and exfoliator. A variety of foot creams contain between 5% to 25% Urea and the addition of other products such as Lanolin, Olive oil and Glycerine not only helps improve the feel of the product  but also allows the Urea to function correctly. Creams can be used at night with a pair of lightweight socks to protect bed clothes but other formulations such as Callusan Forte mousse can be used during the day as they have no greasy feel. Skin care products : http://www.yourfootcare.com/html/skin_care.html

No more Monphytol

monphytol anti fungalMonphytol one of my favourite anti fungals appears now to be off the market. Its colourless solution that was painted on to affected areas was so easy to use and many of our customers agreed as well. The Manufacturer’s web site states ‘due to problems with active ingredients’  (Methyl undecenoate, propyl undecenoate, salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, propyl salicylate, chlorobutanol)

—Just had an email back from the Manufacturer. Unfortunately this is really the last of this useful product. They site further regulation of some of the ingredients have just made it too expensive to make. What a pity, although we have some very modern formulation anti fungals this was a product that many customers found easy to use and produced the desired result on both skin and nail.

Double layer socks for Diabetics

The difficult-to-heal foot sores that people with diabetes are prone to develop might be prevented with double-layer socks, going by the results of a small study. The foot-care socks apparently reduce in-shoe pressure on the underside of the foot, which “is an acknowledged risk factor in the development of (foot) ulcers” in people with nerve damage related to diabetes, report Dr. Adam P. Garrow, of Withington Hospital, Manchester, UK, and colleagues. The special socks have a double-layer construction consisting of a padded outer layer to cushion the feet, as well as a low-friction fibre inner layer to reduce friction at the sock/foot interface. The research team examined whether the preventive foot-care socks reduce pressures on the underside of the foot in a group of 19 diabetics with peripheral nerve damage. Fifteen were men, and the average age was 65.5 years. Differences in maximum foot contact area and foot pressure were measured with the preventive foot-care socks and with conventional supermarket socks. As reported in the medical journal Diabetes Care, when the participants wore the double-layer socks, maximum foot contact area was increased significantly, meaning that pressure points were eased. This was accompanied by a reduction of 5.4 kg in total foot pressure. “Compared with the supermarket socks which were approximately 0.7 mm thick, the maximum thickness of the preventive foot care hosiery was 2.7 mm,” Garrow’s team explains. “Although 2 mm may represent only a moderate increase in bulk inside the shoe, additional care in the fitting of shoes is nonetheless required when considering the use of such hosiery to avoid any localized increases in foot pressures,” they advise.  Altering the kind of socks people wear is a simple, inexpensive way of protecting at-risk feet in the diabetic population, the researchers suggest. Now they need further studies to see if the socks really do prevent diabetic foot ulcers.  Article source: Diabetes Care, August 2005. Buy double layer socks at http://www.yourfootcare.com/html/socks.html 

Painless dental anaesthetic?

Having a local anaesthetic for some can be a traumatic experience. A chance discovery by Ear Nose and Throat medics noted that when using a local anaesthetic in this area numbing of their patient’s gums occurred. US researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo have developed a nasal spray that with further research could mean no more injections at the dentist. Wider population tests could come as early as March ‘07.  How deep the anaesthetic is and for what type of dental work it will be suitable for will be interesting to see. It may mean a reduction in one of the dental phobias–the fear of injections, estimated to be about 8% of the UK population (The Adult Dental Health Survey UK 1988) Now we just need something to help us in foot care !

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X-Static silver seamless socks

Diabetics have to take particular care of their feet. Inspection of the feet for problems,good socks and well fitted footwear are important. It’s amazing how socks can cause problems. Even socks that have shrunk in the wash and are now too small can be troublesome. A common complaint is the seam at the toes of socks which can irritate the skin and even cause ulcers. Help is now at hand with ‘SmartKnit’ seamless socks. The sock fits like a second skin and is made by a unique process that produces no seam at all taking away those risks of pressure points. The ‘X-Static’ silver fibres produce the ideal anti microbial environment for ‘at risk’ diabetic feet. Great protection from bacteria and fungus plus eliminating any foot odour along with ‘CoolMax’ fibres to wick moisture away, makes this the perfect sock for compromised feet.

See http://www.yourfootcare.com/html/socks.html

Artificial foot with ‘Intelligence’

Proprio artificial footA prosthetic is a replacement for a missing part of the body–replacing either a limb, foot or hand lost due to trauma or a birth defect. Recent news from war torn countries of children or soldiers losing their feet or legs after explosions caused by stepping on landmines would result in the need for such a device to replace the missing limb. Missing feet present a challenge, the human foot is a complex structure allowing us to walk at a variety of different angles and receiving signals that are relayed to the brain to indicate our position. Just think for a moment of the many surfaces we walk on from walking up and down a hill to walking on flat or undulating surfaces. Those complex motions are lost if a foot has been replaced by an artificial foot, a prosthetic. This may now be improved upon by a scientific improvement to prostheics resulting in an ‘intelligent’ artificial foot launched in the UK market this month. Icelandic company Ossur have developed ‘The Proprio’ an artifical foot that allows amputees

Reducing pain in Arthritis

rosehipsMany of us remember the red Rosehip Syrup of our childhood, full of vitamin C it was eagerly awaited and one of the more pleasant ‘medicines’ that we were given to keep us healthy. During the second world war volunteers collected many tons of Rosehips to keep the whole nation healthy, it was also easy to make at home and was a favourite made from a simple recipe in ’The Hedgerow Harvest’ written by the Ministry of Food (1943). For fun the hairy seeds are also known by generations of schoolboys as an effective ’itching powder’ to be placed down an unsuspecting friends shirt !

Recent research has now shown a Rosehip extract may help sufferers of Arthritis and Crohns disease, both diseases in which inflammation plays a part. A small trial by Biochemist, Dr K.Winther in Copenhagen looked at the product ‘LitoZin’ made from the ground seeds of Rosa Canina and found a marked reduction in the pain of Osteoarthritis sufferers. In his study of some 94 people they found a significant pain reduction from their conditions which very importantly meant they could reduce their other pain killers. Further research will be needed however. What is LitoZin? A Rosehip extract containing the active ingredient of ‘GOPO’ – Galatolipid compound