Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Jehan Raffiuddin
BEAUTY SCIENCE: Free from ‘mushrooming’ skin woes
Monsoons are great for the soul but often hell on skin – warm, humid temperatures can lead to fungal infections. Beware!
You can get a fungal infection in any season. However, most experts agree that during the monsoon, fungal infections are more common and potent than at any other time of the year. This is because most fungi thrive in hot and humid climates. Add to that a little carelessness to the skin and the skin takes it revenge by getting an infection! Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for, for skin that glows…
- What is it? A contagious fungal infection of the skin, ringworm appears as a circular or ring-shaped rash. It usually begins as a small, itchy, red or scaly patch, and can spread to other parts of the body including the scalp. At times, several rings appear close together and merge.
- How did I get it? You probably got ringworm from an infected person or pet, or touching contaminated objects. You could have also got it from swimming in a pool or walking on infected soil in a garden or park. Excessive sweating, caused by the humidity, increases the chances of picking up ringworm.
- Now what? The ringworm will usually clear up with an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream containing clotrimazole or miconazole. Consult your doctor for advice on the best medicine for your skin.
- Tips: Make sure you cut your nails to avoid infecting the rash. Also, try to keep your skin clean and dry. Remember to not o dress in clothes with synthetic fabric or material that can irritate the infected skin. If the infection doesn’t clear after four weeks, speak to your doctor.
- What is it? Nails are at risk of fungal infections during the rainy season, especially if you sweat and continually scratch yourself. Nails can become discoloured, brittle and rough. In severe cases, the nail can come away from the nail bed. You may also notice red, swollen and itchy skin around the nails.
- How did I get it? This fungal infection can result from overexposure to water, damage to the nail, or scratching sweaty or infected skin. Any moisture or debris trapped under the nails encourages the infection to grow. Ingrown nails may also be prone to infections.
- Now what? Your doctor may prescribe oral medication or anti-fungal cream, depending on how serious the infection is. These medications usually include Itraconazole, Terbinafine and Fluconazole. This will clear up the infection, although this can take some time. In some cases, treatment can last up to 12 weeks.
- Tips: Be wary of the place you get your manicure from – unclean and infected equipment is sure shot way of getting an infection. Also ensure you let your nails breathe from time to time without any nail paint.
- What is it? Athlete’s foot is an infection that looks like a red, itchy and moist rash on the feet. It usually starts at the toes and moves on to other areas of the feet. Other symptoms include a burning sensation, cracked skin, blisters and foul-smelling feet.
- How did I get it? Athlete’s foot flourishes in hot and moist environments like in sweaty shoes or showering areas. It is highly contagious and can spread through contact with an infected surface.
- Now what? Prescription and over-the-counter anti-fungal medicines are easily available at most local chemist stores. It can be a powder or cream. Check with your doctor for the best medication for your skin.
- Tips: Keep your feet clean and dry. Make sure you wear socks and keep changing your shoes. Wearing the same pair of shoes day after day doesn’t give them time to dry out. By alternating the shoes you wear, you will allow them time to become dry again.
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