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Top | Acne | Atopic Dermatitis | Acne Scars | Blisters | Dry Skin | Fungal Infections | Ingrown Toenails | Cysts | Lesions of the Skin | Pimples | Lice and Scabies | Birthmarks | Rashes | Skin Cancer

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections of the skin most commonly affect the feet, groin, scalp, or nails. Fungi grow best in warm, moist areas of the skin, such as between the toes, in the groin, and in the area beneath the breasts.

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal skin infection. Symptoms include cracked, blistered, and peel­ing areas between the toes; redness and scaling on the soles of the feet; and itching. Athlete’s foot often recurs and must be treated each time.

Jock itch causes severe itching and moistness on the skin of the groin and upper thighs. There may be red, scaly, raised areas on the skin that weep or ooze pus or clear fluid.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that grows on the outer layer of skin, hair, or nails. It is more common in children than in adults.

On the skin, ringworm appears as patches that are clear in the centre and have edges that are red, peeling, or have blister-like bumps. The skin is often very itchy. The rash can spread quickly.

On the scalp and beard, ringworm appears as round or oval patches of baldness, which may be scaly, red, crusty, or swollen with little blister-like bumps. The hair on the scalp and beard may have flakes that look like dandruff.
Fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails cause discoloration, thickening, and often softening of the nails. They are difficult to treat and often cause permanent damage to the nails.

Thrush is a yeast infection that may occur in a number of places, includ­ing the mouth (especially in babies), the vagina or vulva, or under the foreskin of the penis. Thrush may develop after using an antibiotic medication. Inside the mouth, thrush causes a white coat­ing, often on the cheeks, that may look like milk but is hard to remove.

Prevention
· Keep your feet clean, cool, and dry. Dry well between the toes after swimming or bathing.

· Wear leather shoes or sandals that allow your feet to “breathe,” and wear cotton socks to absorb sweat. Use powder on your feet and in your shoes. Give shoes 24 hours to dry between wearings.

· Wear thongs or shower sandals in public pools and showers.

· Keep your groin area clean and dry. Wash and dry well, especially after exercising. Wear cotton underclothes and avoid tight pants and pantyhose.

· Teach children not to play with dogs or cats that have bald or mangy spots on their coats.

· Don’t share hats, combs, or brushes.

Home Treatment
· Follow the prevention guidelines.

· For athlete’s foot and jock itch, use a nonprescription antifungal powder or lotion. Use the medica­tion for 1 to 2 weeks after the symptoms clear up to prevent recurrence. Do not use hydrocorti­sone cream on a fungal infection.

· Ringworm on the body can be treated with one of the antifungals listed above.

When to Call a Health Professional
If signs of infection are present:

o Increased pain, swelling, heat, redness, or tenderness.

o Red streaks extending from the affected area.

o Continued discharge of pus.

o Fever of 37.80C (lOOT) or higher with no other cause.

· If you have diabetes and develop athlete’s foot. People with diabetes
are at increased risk for infection and may need professional care.

· If you experience a sudden loss of patches of hair associated with flaking, broken hairs, and inflam­mation of the scalp; or if several members of your household are experiencing hair loss.

· If ringworm is severe and spread­ing or is present on the scalp. Prescription medicine may be needed.

If home treatment fails to improve a fungal infection after 2 weeks or clear it up after 1 month, you may want to consider drug treatment. Discuss your options with your doctor.

Hives are raised, red, itchy, often fluid-filled patches of skin (wheals or welts) that may appear and disappear at random. They range in size from less than 0.6 to 2.5 cm (0.25 to 1 inch) or more, and they may last a few minutes or a few days.

A single hive commonly develops after an insect sting. Multiple hives often develop in response to a drug, food, or infection. Other possible causes of hives include plant allergies, inhaled allergens, stress, cosmetics, and exposure to heat, cold, sunlight, or pressure of cloth­ing. Often a cause cannot be found.

Home Treatment
· Avoid the substance that causes hives.

· Apply cool water compresses to help relieve itching.

· Take an oral antihistamine (such as Benadryl or Chlor-Tripolon) to treat the hives and relieve itching. Once the hives have disappeared, decrease the dose of the medica­tion slowly over 5 to 7 days.

When to Call a Health Professional

· Call 911 or seek emergency services if spreading hives occur with dizziness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or swelling of the tongue, lips, or face.

· If hives develop soon after you take a new drug.

· If hives persist for several days despite home treatment.

 


Top | Acne | Atopic Dermatitis | Acne Scars | Blisters | Dry Skin | Fungal Infections | Ingrown Toenails | Cysts | Lesions of the Skin | Pimples | Lice and Scabies | Birthmarks | Rashes | Skin Cancer

Skin Anatomy and Physiology Acne Ingredients Cosmetics
Dictionary of Skin Care Terms Skin Care Advice Skin Problems
The Sun & Your Skin Skin Care News  


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