As cases of fungal infection rise during summer, doctors share tips to stay safe

Summer not just aggravates gastrointestinal problems, fungal infections also become common during the season. And with the temperature set to further increase in the coming days, cases of fungal infections are also likely to shoot up, say experts. Hence, it is essential for everyone to take utmost care, follow good personal hygiene, wear loose cotton clothes, and seek prompt treatment.

“Fungal infections like ringworm athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, yeast infections, and rashes in the genital area can be a matter of concern. Dermatophyte infections are particularly common occurrences in summer. These contagious fungal infections occur on the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot), or anywhere else on the body where sweat can easily accumulate, like under armpits or breasts (tinea corporis). Dermatophyte infections are also seen on finger and toenails. These infections lead to excessive itching, redness, and swelling in the affected areas,” said Dr Tushar Parikh, chief neonatologist and paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Pune.

Summer season brings along various skin related problems including rashes (Source: Thinkstock Images)

The spike in fungal infections during summer is due to the hot and humid weather conditions and excessive sweating. A hot environment will encourage fungi growth, and hence skin dryness and prickly heat rashes are seen more.

“Fungal skin infections can be seen anywhere on the body. The commonly seen Tinea versicolor is a condition that causes lighter or darker patches of skin. It’s caused by a fungus on the skin that grows out of control. Vaginal yeast infection happens due to the fungus Candida albicans which causes inflammation and irritation around the vagina,” said Dr Pradeep Alate, Paediatrician, Apollo Spectra Pune.

Use medicated creams or lotions suggested by the doctor, and avoid steroid-containing creams. Complete the treatment course given by the doctor, wash clothes daily, and maintain good personal hygiene, and use antifungal soap and powder after consulting the doctor. Wash hands to prevent spreading the infection from one area to another. Don’t share towels or clothing as they can spread the fungus. Avoid athlete’s foot by changing socks every day,” stressed Dr Parikh.

Dr Alate shared a few tips

*Avoid wearing tight clothes, jeans and shoes.
*Keep nails short.
*Don’t wear sweaty clothes for a longer time.
*Keep yourself dry.
*Wear loose cotton clothes.
*Do not use scented or chemical products on the infected area as they can cause irritation and rashes.
*Avoiding processed foods to prevent fungal infections.
*Besides, high sugar levels trigger infections and slow down the healing process. Include garlic in the diet owing to its anti-fungal nature.
*Keeping the skin dry is important, particularly in areas like groin, armpits, and neck.

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