THE MENACE OF FUNGAL INFECTION
With the onset of rains, not just the rains a heavy down fall of water fall, everybody is affected. Apart from the government bodies & insurance people who are busy, the dermatologists have become busy too. During the summers as we all know, due to excess sweating, many people suffer from itchy skin & rashes especially in the body folds & private parts. It was better for sometime but again now with monsoon, its worse. Every fifth patient is having a fungal infection.
India is facing almost an epidemic of these infections. There is drastic increase in number of the cases in last 4-5 years. The presentation of patients has also undergone a significant change & the standard treatment guideline mentioned in text books is no longer effective.
There are various factors responsible, like-
Environmental factors-with the global warming especially around Nagpur as it can be humid anytime due to heat or showers. Moisture is the breeding ground for the fungus to grow, another factor is the misuse rather abuse of topical corticosteroids. These are promoted rampantly & fearlessly by almost all pharma houses. These are available over the counter without a prescription often with an antifungal cream. It reduces redness &itching rapidly but ultimately leads to proliferation of the fungus (steroid induced reduced immunity).
To worsen the condition, now the fungus doesn’t respond to routine dose of the medications. Scenario is worse where such creams are available too freely and there’s lack of awareness.
Fungal infections were almost rare in children, now even they are not spared. The adults who have steroid modified infection have florid lesion with large patches extensively over whole body.
Some important tips-
Preferably take a bath twice daily
Avoid tight clothing, denims, etc.
Preferably wear cotton clothes.
Keep the skin dry & maintain personal hygiene.
Change clothes daily.
Wash clothes in hot water & let it dry in sun, iron them before wearing
Avoid all kind of over the counter creams & self medications.
Do not share clothes or medications.
Complete the course of treatment as advised by your doctor.
Dr. Rupa Adatia, Consultant Dermatologist, Nagpur.
To conclude, we need to bring awareness restrict the abuse of such creams. Avoid denims, synthetic clothes at least during humid climate; use the prescribed medicines for the complete course. These are some of the factors that could help us to reduce the menace of epidemic of fungal infections that has already gone far & wide.