Managing Skin Fungal Infection
We all know how hard it is to resist scratching skin that feels itchy, especially after getting bitten by a mosquito. However, skin fungal infections are not as easy to manage as a normal insect bite.
Find out what skin fungal infections are, their causes, and how you can keep yourself far from them.
What is skin fungal infection?
Skin fungal infection is a skin condition where the infected area will usually present with redness, itchiness, or sometimes scaling of the skin. It is caused by the growth of fungus on the skin.
Who is susceptible to this type of fungal infection?
Skin fungal infections are commonly found in people who:
- Perspire heavily
- Wear restricted, wet clothing for a prolonged period of time
- Stay in close contact with infected people in a damp and humid environment
- Have a weaker immune system due to a disease or the use of medications
- Take part actively in sports
Types of skin fungal infection
The appearance of a skin fungal infection varies depending on the affected location. Here are some common types of skin fungal infection and their symptoms.
- Athlete’s foot
- Scaling skin between toes, sometimes accompanied by a stinging sensation and odour
- Jock Itch
- Occurs around the groin region and presents with redness and fine scaling
- White spots
- More commonly present on the face, back and shoulder area, with the appearance of round, light-coloured pigmentation
- Appears on parts of the body (e.g. back, hands, face) and are characterised by itchy, ring-like red rash
Treating skin fungal infections
Common over-the-counter antifungal creams (e.g. miconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, tolnafate) are eff¬ective for the treatment of skin fungal infection.
Depending on the active ingredient, you can apply the cream onto the a¬ffected area once to twice daily for at least 2 weeks. Some skin fungal infection may take more than 2 weeks of treatment for complete resolution.
Treatment should be continued for 2 weeks beyond the disappearance of all signs of fungal infection. In the case of white spots, the white colour will gradually improve and fade over time after it has been successfully treated.
How to prevent
Prevention is better than cure – who wants to experience itchiness and redness of the skin? Here’s how you can avoid being a victim of skin fungal infections.
- Use anti-perspirants or powder to ensure the skin fold areas around the body or the feet are dry
- Change your clothes especially after heavy sweating
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes
- Do change your towel as often as possible and avoid sharing with others
- Change your socks daily and always have an extra pair of shoes for rotation if you are prone to Athlete’s Foot
- Use open-toe footwear whenever possible
When to consult a doctor
Though antifungal creams are readily available, they may not be the right treatment for you. You should still see a doctor when any of the following occurs.
- Spreading redness or swelling of skin, with yellowish discharge present around the affected area
- A large area of your body is affected
- Initial treatment (e.g. antifungal creams) has not been successful or has worsened the condition
- Affected area includes the face and private area
- You have fever and/or tiredness