Monsoon surely brings relief from the scorching heat and many other summer problems like heat stroke, tanning, and sweat. But it also brings along a host of problems — skin rash, acne, and frizzy hair in monsoon, many of which we know about. “But the bigger problem is fungal infection; which seems to be taking over lately,” said Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
“The bacteria generally tend to grow really fast during the rainy season. The unnoticed areas of the body, like the tip of the toes, spaces between the fingers, etc. tend to develop bacteria that may lead to fungal infection. During monsoon, people often leave their skin and hair wet for a long time; but it must be known that even a little drizzle can cause fungus to form. Even nails are more susceptible to fungal infections and tend to become brittle during this time. Additionally, foot fungal infections are painful conditions brought on by moist socks/shoes,” the expert added.
According to Dr Batra, in the past month, there has been an increase in the people suffering from tinea capitis (a fungal infection of the hair), ringworms, athlete’s foot, eczema, and bullous and non-bullous impetigo.
Apart from keeping yourself dry at all times, you must follow the below tips that can prevent fungal infections:
*Maintain good hygiene, and keep yourself clean: Regular shower with anti-bacterial soap, it may help you keep safe from bacterial or fungus issues.
*Wash your hair regularly: It is important to keep the scalp clean. You can use anti-fungal shampoo with salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin from infected and dead cells.
*Use and wear clean clothes: Ensure to wear washed, dry clothes. Also, after using a towel for more than two days, it needs to be thoroughly washed, dried in the sun, and only then used again.
*Say ‘no’ to sharing: Never share towels, nail clippers, soap, loofahs, or other items used for personal hygiene with other individuals.
*Avoid wearing tight or layered clothes: Try to wear loose and light clothing that lets your skin breathe.
*Maintain foot hygiene: Try to wear footwear that has open toes, and is comfortable. Use breathable socks while wearing closed footwear and apply antifungal dusting powder in the socks, if required. Additionally, keep an extra pair of shoes/sandals in the office for emergencies. Don’t forget your nails, keep them clean, and trim them regularly.
*“We have seen individuals utilising a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications without visiting a dermatologist. These OTC ointments/creams, primarily include steroids. The symptoms and itching may disappear while you are using these creams, but they reappear as soon as you stop using them. Therefore, if you have a fungal infection in any of the body parts, it is best to visit a dermatologist and have it treated once and for all. If you continue to use these OTC creams, it will temporarily treat the symptoms but not the underlying problem. The fungus will continue to grow in the body, affect other areas, and potentially cause a very serious fungal infection. Therefore, you must see a certified dermatologist if you want your fungal infections to be treated correctly,” he said.