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Tinea infection

Tinea infection means infection of the skin by fungus. It is commonly seen in humid and warm environment. Fungus can grow on skin, hair and nails and cause disease. People who have chronic illness like diabetes will have greater chance of having tinea infection because of their decreased immunity.

Types of tinea infection and associated symptoms:

  • Tinea pedis - also called "athlete's foot". Groups of itching blisters and peeling of the skin occur between the toes and on the soles. Bacterial infection may occur if the skin is broken after scratching.
  • Tinea unguium - fungal infection on toenails or fingernails. The color of the infected nails changes to gray, and the nails become thickened, curled and crumbly.
  • Tinea cruris - it manifests as red ring-shaped discolouration over the groin area and is extremely itchy (the upper and inner side of the thigh). It generally occurs in obese and person who sweats a lot.
  • Tinea corporis - the fungal infection occurs in exposed areas such as face, arms, shoulder or trunk of body with single or multiple-ring-shaped reddish patches of rash; often associated with intense itchiness.
  • Tinea versicolor - the infection causes well defined depigmented rash on the back, upper chest, arms or neck. There may be mild itchiness of the skin.

Treatment:

Consult doctor for treatment because different type of fungal infection requires different treatment. Most fungal infection can be treated by topical antifungal medication. If the infection is very extensive or serious, oral antifungal drugs may be required. The duration of treatment required is notoriously long and patient need patience and should comply with doctor's instruction. In addition, medical treatment is no substitute for good personal hygiene to control the disease and prevent recurrence.

Symptoms of scabies

  1. The main symptom is intensive itchiness in the infected areas, which is more severe at night and after hot bath.
  2. The usual affected areas are the finger webs and the flexural areas of wrists, elbows, armpits, nipples, lower abdomen and external genitalia. The face and scalp of elderly are usually spared.
  3. Rash develops at the point where the mite penetrates the skin. Thread like tunnel (usually less than 1 cm) can be seen as they dig tunnels under the skin.
  4. If the infected person is allergic to the mite or its excreta, he or she may develop blisters.

Prevention:

  • Practice good personal hygiene. Always clean the skin and feet thoroughly when taking a bath.
  • Always keep the body dry. For example, dry the body completely after bathing, especially between the toes.
  • Wear clean and dry shoes and cotton socks.
  • Wash and change socks, clothing and towels everyday.
  • Wear different shoes alternatively and keep them dry.
  • Avoid wearing tight underwear. Clothes made of cotton are the best choice.
  • Never share clothing, shoes, socks or towel and other personal belongings such as combs, hair accessories, hats and pillows with other people.
  • Always keep clean after contacting the diseased skin so as to prevent spread of infection.
  • Diabetic patient should always practice good personal hygiene and be aware of the skin condition, especially the feet, to reduce the chance of fungal infection.