"If you are unsure about that red spot on your skin, or the itchiness between your toes, come in and see us", say pharmacists. "It may well be a common fungal infection, which we all can get from time to time."
Fungal infections most commonly occur on the skin, in our nails and occasionally in the mouth.
Fungal infections on the skin occur on moist areas of skin, for example within skinfolds, around the groin, in the vagina and between the toes ? therefore one of the most easiest ways to prevent fungal infections is by keeping your skin dry and free from build-ups of sweat or moisture. Some people may pick up fungi from their pets while others may develop fungal infections if they take a course of antibiotics or if their immune system is not working properly. Fungal infections in nails are common, especially if the skin around the nail is damaged.
Fungal infections in the mouth (oral thrush) look like white patches which leave red raw patches when rubbed off. These may be sore or itchy.
Fungal infections on the nails will thicken and discolour the nail and may make the nail crumbly in appearance.
Fungal infections on the skin can initially look red and eczema like, but can be distinguished by the scaly appearance and borders around the patches. The patches may spread at the borders and be clear in the middle. Around the feet and in between the toes the infections can be either a white or red scaly infection. These infections tend to be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if hot.
Pharmacists advise that fungal infections can be avoided if you:
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and keep well: a healthy immune system will prevent any fungal organisms infecting your body or your skin.
- Keep skin areas dry: this is especially important after sport and showers ? always wash off sweaty areas and towel dry well. Use a hair dryer for drying between the toes if necessary.
- Don?t wear too tight clothing, as this will lead to moisture build up on the skin.
- If using public showers, wear jandals to prevent picking up any fungal organisms from shower floors on to your feet.
- Don?t share towels or clothing.
- Let shoes dry out for 24 hours before re-wearing them again.
- Change socks and underclothes daily.
Treatment of fungal skin infections involves using antifungal creams, body washes, powders, liquids or sprays. These preparations normally have to be used for two weeks and a further one to two weeks after the infection has cleared.
"We can assess most problems which may be due to a fungal infection. If there are no complicating problems with your health or other medicines, we can often provide you with a safe and effective treatment from the pharmacy" say pharmacists. "Our Self Care card on Fungal Infections provides useful advice on how to identify and manage many common fungal infections".
If you hve some questions or need treatments for fungal infections please contact us
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