Fungi (the plural for fungus) are germs present all around us. They sometimes settle on parts of our body most conducive to their growth, such as in between fingers, groin area, armpits and nails. Out of all paediatric dermatoses, fungal skin infections are the most common. Fungal skin infections, based on their severity take around few months to two years to heal. Following are a few common fungal skin infections, their causes and tips to prevent them-
- Ringworm- it is characterised by red circular often inflamed itchy sores on the skin, in between fingers and nails. It is spread through infected person-to-person, infected pet to person and infected mud to person contact. Ringworm can be prevented by keeping your skin clean and dry and staying away from infected persons, pets or objects. Do not share clothes, towels, comb, and wear sandals to washrooms and locker rooms.
- Yeast infections- yeast infections are caused by yeast like fungi called candida. The most likely to be affected areas are the armpits, vagina and mouth. A balanced diet with good hygiene is important to prevent yeast infections. Wearing loose light clothes and regular washing of intimate wear is also necessary.
- Jock’s itch- Jock’s itch is fungal skin infection caused by fungi called Tinea. This fungus grows in warm moist areas of the body such as buttocks, inner thighs and groin area. Jock’s itch can be prevented by keeping the groin area clean and dry at all time. Use only clean towels to wipe yourself after a bath or swim and wear innerwear that fits perfectly.
Taking preventive measures works better than searching for an effective treatment to cure to fungal skin infections. Notifying a doctor or taking a skin test as soon as you see the first signs of an infection can avoid serious complications. Fungal infections run from mild to severe and can be treated with over the counter medications.