Many people ignore fungal infections of the skin and scalp, attempting to mask their effects with anti-dandruff shampoo and moisturizing lotions. However, neither of these solutions deals with the root cause, consigning the individual to further symptoms and further dependency on cosmetic goods. Understanding the cause allows for much more effective and permanent treatment.
Fungal infections of the skin and scalp may occur when specific organisms, commonly those of the candida, trichosporon or dermatophyte sub-groups, become overgrown and overpopulate the skin. All these species normally co-exist in controlled numbers in the body, but certain conditions contribute to their colonization of various parts of the body, which includes the skin. The Henry Spink foundation lists antibiotics, excessive sugar consumption and stress for the development of systemic fungal infections, which may then lead to fungus on the skin and scalp.
Because most infections of the skin and scalp occur as a result of systemic overgrowth, fungal organisms may reach many other areas of the body. Dr. William Crook, author of "The Yeast Connection," explains how such infections can have an almost unlimited range of symptoms. However, he quotes fatigue, brain fog, itching and sugar cravings among the most popular symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms along with skin or scalp fungus, you probably have a systemic fungal infection also.
Conventional treatment for dandruff revolves around the use of anti-dandruff shampoos. Often, these shampoos contain anti-fungal medications, and the topical application often reduces the appearance of skin flakes. Conventional doctors may suggest other topical preparations, but may sometimes prescribe anti-fungal drugs that the patient takes orally. Researchers from the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that these drugs regularly fail to achieve the desired effect because fungal cells develop resistance to these interventions.
Fortunately, nature provided humans with a wide range of anti-fungal foods and herbs. These plant-based products work differently than the aforementioned drugs, affecting the integrity of the fungal membrane to bring about death without the fungus developing resistance. Natural compounds such as coconut oil are a reliable weapon against such infections. Other natural anti-fungals include garlic, grapefruit seed extract and pau d'arco.
Despite sufficient use of appropriate and effective anti-fungal compounds, attempts at eradicating the troublesome fungus from the body can often end in failure. Dr. Rodger Murphree, a board-certified chiropractic physician who has written five books on dealing with difficult medical problems, recommends a low-carb diet to starve the fungus in the body. This helps eliminate the organisms because they can only feed off of carbohydrates.
- Oxford Journals: "Antifungal resistance and over-the-counter availability in the UK: a current perspective": 2001.
- "The Coconut Oil Miracle"; Dr Bruce Fife; 2004
- EI Resource: Treatment of Candida and Yeast Overgrowth, Dr Rodger Murphree