Most of the time, our skin provides a pretty darned good barrier to the environment, but heat, humidity, and friction conspire to break down that defense. Various types of fungus are notorious for causing misery, especially in the summer months, for people who must wear heavy protective clothing outdoors. Diabetic and obese patients are also highly susceptible to infection.
Signs and Symptoms: A red rash usually occurs in the groin or armpits, where the skin contacts itself. Waistlines are common sites, as are the feet, especially when boots or heavy shoes limit ventilation. The skin is bumpy or flaky, and a distinct border is often seen.
What to do: Topical creams and powders are commonly available. Persistent cases require prescription strength topical or oral medication. Nearly all cases benefit from frequent sock changes and anything else that promotes ventilation and dryness. Recurrent problems warrant a check for diabetes or other conditions that could affect your immune system.
Thought for the day: The cure for fungus won’t come about unless you find a way to dry it out.
What’s Going Around is contributed by family practice doctor Kyle Scarborough, M.D. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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