I have a fungal infection

I have a fungal infection that appears on my neck quite frequently especially in hot weather and humid conditions. It is quite discomforting. How can i get rid of it permanently.

Dear Doctor,

I have a fungal infection that appears on my neck quite frequently especially in hot weather and humid conditions. It is quite discomforting. How can i get rid of it permanently. Iradukunda

Dear Iradukunda,

Fungal spores are present everywhere. In the air, in soil , on fur of animals and even on one’s own skin and gut, skin of hair and nails. If their number multiplies or the body’s immunity is lowered, one can be infected.

Fungus tends to grow in warm, moist climate. Commonly underarms, back of neck, thighs, genitals, sole of feet, are the common areas in body to be affected. Stress, malnutrition, obesity, wearing damp clothes, nylon clothes, endocrine disorder like diabetes, infection like HIV, are some of the risk factors for acquiring and aggravating fungal infection.

It manifests as scaly or ring like whitish, reddish or black (depending on type of fungal infection) patches which itch intermittently. However the whitish patches have to be distinguished from psoriasis, a condition triggered by immune system of the body.

Diagnosis is confirmed by microscopic examination of the scrapings from the skin lesion.

Treatment is by antifungal drugs in form of ointment or tablet. The treatment taken cures the current infection, but it does not prevent infection in future. Hence to avoid recurrence of infection, it is advisable to keep affected area clean and dry. Avoid stress, take a balanced diet including proteins, exercise regularly and sleep adequately.

It is also beneficial to continue the treatment for minimum 4 to 6 weeks though the skin rash may disappear within 2 weeks of taking medication. This helps in removing any residual spores present.

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