As much as monsoon makes our environment green and scenic, the moisture levels rise and so does the humidity. With all the moisture present in the surroundings, it paves way for fungal infections, especially of the feet since they are always drenched in water or tightly enclosed in footwear. Taking a little extra care of your feet in the rainy season can prevent painful and serious foot conditions. So here are a few tips on how you can go about managing and preventing these fungal infections:
Tips To Keep Fungal Infections In Feet At Bay
Here are some tips to take care of your feet and help preventing infections:
1. Avoid Self-Medication
Firstly, if one is already suffering from fungal infection, do not self-medicate. Avoid using over the counter steroid creams because they do nothing more than flaring up the infection and making the fungal strains resistant to approved antifungal medications. So, consult a dermatologist at the first go.
2. Go For Antifungal Medications
One needs to take appropriate dermatologist approved antifungal medications along with antihistamines and topical treatments for a good 4-6 weeks. Do not stop the medications midway unless it is advised by the Dermatologist, since some fungal strains take a longer time to respond to the antifungal medications.
3. Pick Monsoon-Friendly Footwear
Always wear open rubber/ plastic footwear. Wearing closed fabric footwear soaks up moisture, increasing the chances of fungal infections. For people working at places which demand the use of socks and shoes, make sure to apply some antifungal dusting powder in the socks, as it would help keeping the feet dry
4. Don't Stay In Wet Clothes
Do not stay in wet, sweaty clothes for a long time. Make sure the clothes are thoroughly dry before wearing them
5. Avoid Layer Clothes In Damp Skin
Pat the skin dry before layering clothes, also use an antifungal dusting powder or talc on body folds like armpits, groin, finger & toe spaces and the waistline.
6. Keep Your Nails Short And Clean
Don't cut them too close to the skin, as it increases the chances of cuts and tears which then increase the risk of contracting fungal infections
7. Say No To Moisturisers
Avoid using a moisturizer during the day since it would overhydrate the skin and damage the skin barrier, giving an easy entry for not only fungi but also other microbes.
8. Tips For Diabetic Patients
For Diabetic patients, keeping the glucose levels within normal limits plays a crucial role in managing fungal infections, since glucose provides a good medium for fungi to grow.
9. Right Way To Wash Clothes
It is essential to wash clothes in hot water or iron them as it kills the fungi attached to the cloth lining.
10. Other Tips
In cases where the fungal infection is recurrent, one is advised to undergo blood tests to check blood sugar levels, Haemoglobin or rule out Thyroid Disorders - Your doctor will prescribe these for you. The duration of the treatment is generally longer for people with have co-morbidities such as Diabetes, Hypertension, etc.
About the author: Dr Kiran Godse is a consultant dermatologist in Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, Navi Mumbai-A Fortis Network Hospital
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