Feeling yucky and unclean after getting a skin infection which has left you wondering how it happened to you? Well, maybe it’s a skin fungal infection. And they are also contagious, unhygienic, and not all the same. The good news is they can be easily treated and are totally preventable.
Broadly, there are four types of fungal skin infections.
1. Jock Itch
Also known as tinea cruris, jock itch is common in humid climates in inner thighs, genitals, buttocks, under breasts and underarms. It looks like a red, itchy rash that is sometimes ring-shaped, giving flaking, peeling or cracking skin.
2. Athlete’s Foot
Keeping feet dry is tough around swimming pools, where there is a higher risk of getting athlete’s foot from someone else. It causes red, itchy, peeling skin that burns and sometimes gives blisters and sores on the toes and foot.
3. Yeast Infection
When your skin itches and burns along with pus or bumpy skin, you may have a yeast infection. Commonly they occur in a baby’s mouth (called ‘thrush’), and also in the vagina. Thrush is treated with medicated mouthwash or lozenges while vaginal yeast infections are treated by medicated suppositories.
Ringworm is not a worm. This is a fungal skin condition, also known as tinea corporis. It is an unsightly, red, ring rash accompanied by scaly skin and sometimes one patch of ringworm can overlap another.
How To Treat Fungal Skin Infections Easily
Treatments include topical antifungal medication, quality foot powders, oral drugs in severe cases, as well as a few home remedies.
- Topical Creams: Luckily most fungal infections need only a good topical cream that will do the job nicely. Most problems are on the skin surface, so they go away with over the counter antifungal creams, lotions or medicated powders applied directly on the infected area. Be patient because you should apply the cream up to 2 weeks after the infection subsides to avoid it coming back.
- Oral Drugs: In severe cases of athlete’s foot or ringworm, you may need to also take prescription medicine. See you doctor and make sure you are taking the right drug and dose for the right skin condition.
- Body Powder: All body powders help keep skin dry during the monsoon. But foot powders are particularly useful for treating athlete’s foot. They are specially medicated antifungal powders. Avoid sharing your powder puff to prevent the skin infection from spreading.
- Home Remedies: Apply natural ingredients on the infected area to prevent recurrence & spread.
Here are 5 DIY kitchen remedies you can try:
- Apple cider vinegar, diluted 1:1 with water stops it from spreading.
- Plain yoghurt has lactic acid that stops fungal growth.
- Tea tree oil mixed with a little aloe vera gel.
- Crushed garlic cloves and olive oil.
- Cold tea bags.
Prevention (is the best cure)
Fungi love to grow in warm, moist conditions. This is why damp skin encourages fungal infections. So if you sweat a lot, you need to wipe often to keep your skin dry. Wear loose cotton clothes. Tight clothing will not allow sweat to evaporate either, so fungi easily grow in those areas.
Here is a list of ways to reduce the risk of having a fungal infection on skin:
- Dry your skin well after a shower or carry a small towel in the gym when you sweat.
- Avoid tight clothes and underwear in summer.
- Choose cotton and clothing made of natural fibre especially underwear.
- Do not share towels, combs or hair brushes.
- Wash clothes and bed linen frequently especially in humid weather.
- Protect feet if you go near a swimming pool with rubber thong sandals (Hawaii chappals).
- Do not wear the same shoes every day, so they get tome to dry out.
- Gym and exercise clothes should not allow sweat to stick to your skin.
- Throw away things that come in contact with your head if you had scalp ringworm.
If you are doing all the above and still have a skin fungal infection, it maybe it is due to a pre-existing health condition.
Ask yourself if you:
- have recently taken a course of antibiotics.
- are taking steroids.
- have diabetes.
- are overweight or obese.
- have had a fungal infection before.
- have a weak immune system due to an illness.
Although they usually start out as a minor irritation, a skin fungal infection is usually recurring. If you have once had an infection you need to take extra precautions so it does not come back.
If you are not sure what type of skin infection you have, see your doctor in order to make sure it is a skin fungal infection. If natural remedies for treating your skin fungal infection, or over-the-counter medicines do not work, you should see a doctor ASAP, preferably a dermatologist.
When your doctor gives you a prescription, you can order medicines online from the Zotezo pharmacy.