Fungal infections are very common in hot, humid climates like ours, or if you often wear tight, synthetic clothing.
There are many microorganisms that live on our skin and in our bodies, and while most of them are harmless, certain types of selected fungi or overgrowths of normally harmless types can cause fungal infections of the skin.
The symptoms of these infections are manifested in a number of ways. The rashes typical of an Athlete’s foot infection are often scaly and even peel off at times, the skin turns inflamed and blistered and itches.
In pityriasis Versicolor infection, otherwise known as white spot, fine and scaly white patches may erupt on the face, neck, shoulder, arms, trunk or legs, withy itching in some cases.
Ringworm infection on the body and groin areas appears as itchy, scaly, reddish and ring-shaped patches with raised borders. It can affect the scalp and hair, leaving bald patches on the head and can affect the nails, leaving them deformed and thickened.
Fungal infections can be transmitted from person to person, or through contact with objects and surfaces harboring the fungus and bacteria. Infected pets may also transmit the infection to humans. Another common mode of transmission is via exposure to excessive moisture, such as walking about barefoot on damp surfaces like the floors of swimming pools and public shower facilities, as well as skin that has not been dried of sweat or water properly.
Prevention and Treatment
There are few simple measures that can help to prevent the occurrence of fungal skin infections and they are:
Don’t share personal things
Avoid sharing personal items like towels, combs or shoes with others as the items may carry fungal spores. If need be, try to sterilize or disinfect items before use.
Don’t go barefoot
Do not go barefoot around wet areas like swimming pools and public shower facilities.
Change clothing regularly
change socks, underwear, and clothing regularly to get rid of any fungal growth. Ideally, change out of sports attire and bath immediately after sports.
Wear loose-fitting underwear and clothing in natural fabrics that allow the skin to breathe, such as cotton.
Keep to open-toed footwear wherever possible, but if that is not an option, consider using anti-fungal foot powder to keep feet dry.
However, if these steps are inadequate, and an infection strikes, apply topical anti-fungal creams or lotions.