I am Dr. Lipy Gupta and I am a dermatologist and today we’ll be discussing fungal infections. These days we are seeing a lot of fungal infections in our OPDs. The number of patients has drastically increased and so has the problem of recurrence and resistance to treatment. So previously when we use to give treatments for a period of 3-4 weeks, there hardly used to be any relapse but these days we see almost 30-40% of patients who come back with recurrence of fungal infections. Now it is important for us to understand that what exactly a fungal infection is. Whenever there is moisture in certain areas of the body which are the body folds mainly the inner thigh area, the genital area, inframammary areas and underarms; there is the accumulation of moisture and the fungi collect at these sites and this gives to rise of superficial fungal infection. When the lesion starts, it's a red patch but it grows slowly. The lesions have a classically round or that is why it's also known as ringworm and they have an expanding edge whereas they clear centrally. They can be present in multiple areas or you may have just one area which is involved with the fungal infection. The lesions classically show itching, so normally we have patients who complain of patches on certain areas, as well as they, complain of severe itching in these areas.
Over a period of time when you are not treating this infection, it continues to grow in size also and there are other areas which get involved after the first area has been involved. The earlier you seek a proper dermatology treatment the better it is for you but these but what happens is you end up going to a chemist and take over the counter brands which contain antifungals in combination with topical steroids. So, after applying these medications you feel an initial relief but after sometimes the fungal infection comes back again. So, it is very important to take proper treatment from a dermatologist for a proper duration of time when you suffer from this infection. The treatment course is generally from 3-4 weeks and has to be taken in an uninterrupted manner. Along with this, the doctor will prescribe you certain soaps, certain topical creams and dusting powders which will further help you to improve the infection much faster and in a complete manner. After completion of treatment, it is important that you are visiting the doctor again and getting yourself checked for any reinfection or any recurrence or leftover infection.
Besides this, it is very important that you take certain general measures so that you are able to treat your fungal infection properly. We may have one or more family member which is involved and affected with the same problem, so all the family members should take treatment. Besides this, we should maintain good hygiene, proper bathing and cleaning practices, we should take proper care that we are drying the areas which have high moisture frequently especially when we are going for gyming or we are doing any exertion activity and we have a tendency to sweat on certain areas, we are taking good care that we are keeping that area clean and dry. Besides this, we should avoid the use of synthetic clothes; avoid very tight clothes because this is one factor which can cause recurrence. Synthetic clothes do not absorb moisture, as a result of constant friction the fungal infection can resurface again. Besides this when you are wearing very tight clothes again the same problem that the moisture gets trapped and it's not and it acts a source of recurrence for fungal infection.
Taking care of these general precautions when you are taking the treatment will not only help you treat the fungal infection in much complete manner it will also help in reducing recurrence and relapsion. It is very important for us to understand that there is an epidemic of the fungal infection going all around in the country and we can treat this collectively only when we are following all these general precautions as well as we are taking a proper duration of antifungal treatment. Then there is no more any time that you take an over the counter brand and start applying it when you are suffering from a fungal infection, you'll end up having more of stretch marks and other skin thinning issues rather than treating your infection. Since the resistance rate is very high these days and we are seeing a high number of fungal resistance strains, proper antifungal treatment in terms of a complete oral medication in combination with topical medication is mandatory for clearing this infection. Do not try home remedies or try oils and other homeopathic treatments for this infection because and a proper oral antifungal drug in a proper duration is mandatory to treat this infection.
You have you can always consult a dermatologist whenever you are suffering from this infection and it is also important that after you complete the total treatment course, you need to revisit the doctor again so that in case you have a relapse or an incomplete treatment you can be treated for a little longer duration. We have a very limited number of drugs which are available with us and we can help you treat this infection only when you are taking these drugs in a proper dose and for the proper duration.