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The Monsoon Itch!

The Monsoon Itch!

Friends the rainy season has battered us quite heavily this year as well, but so has the itch which comes quite often with this season! Not even the pandemic could stop the spread of our fungal friend this season!

Fungal infections are a very common problem in the rainy season. Ringworm as they are commonly known occur in the areas where there is sweat accumulation. These areas most commonly involve the groin folds, buttocks, arm pits, lower abdomen. The infection can also involve other areas like face, scalp, hands and feet.

So what causes this itch?

  • Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas and unfortunately for us our city (Mumbai) as well as most of our country has this particular environment to nurture their growth.
  • There are various types of fungi involved in causing these rashes. It can also involve your nails and hair (can lead to hairloss also).
  • When a person goes to a medical store and uses an Over the Counter (OTC) cream, the infection tends to improve initially and may also disappear but it will come back with greater vengeance!
  • These OTC creams tend to contain a constituent called Steroid which is given to reduce inflammations topically. It will help subside the infection but is not the cure. Also, steroid when applied long term will damage the skin (stretch marks most commonly).

How do we prevent this itch?

  1. Avoid sharing clothes, towels or bed sheets, sport gear.
  2. Keep yourself dry, change your clothes if they get wet.
  3. Wear loose, dry cotton clothes, avoid denims which entrap moisture.
  4. Wash clothes in hot water
  5. Incase you are Diabetic or on immunosuppressants for some other illness, you have to be a little more careful because such patients are prone to infections more easily. 

How do we treat this Itch?

Visit a dermatologist (and not a medical store guy) and first confirm the diagnosis. You will be prescribed some oral and topical anti-fungals. Follow the instructions given by the doctor carefully. The infection does take almost 3-4 weeks to subside, so please do not stop the treatment midway when you are relieved of the itching part. If the fungus is still left behind in the skin, there are chances of it coming back. Make sure nobody else around you has it, otherwise it will keep moving around within the house.

Take care and enjoy the monsoons !!

Dr. Shubhangini Sharma
KMC Eye & Skin Hospital , Ulwe Navi Mumbai