Climate is hot and humid during the rainy season. Daily skincare routine is never enough in this season as both bacterial and fungal skin infections are common in monsoon. Dr I K Ramchandani, Director and Consultant of Dermatology at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre helps us focus on causes and ways to prevent fungal infections.

List of most common fungal infections
• Ringworm: This is the most common and contagious fungal infection of the skin. Medical terminology for this is dermatophytosis or tinea. Infection starts in flexures like the groin, underarm and then spreads to the whole body. Starts as itchy round patches with scales.
• Nail Infections: Fungal infections of the nail are called onychomycosis, in that nails can become discoloured, brittle and rough and thick. Sometimes there is superimposed bacterial infection and nail become red, swollen and itchy skin around the nails.
• Athletes Foot: It is also called as tinea paedis. Wearing dirty socks, excessive sweating of feet and walking in dirty water are predisposing factors. The infection starts in web spaces and then extends to the rest of the foot. It is extremely itchy condition. Sometimes the patient can have a small fluid-filled lesion on the sole.

Predisposing factors for fungal infections are
• Poor hygiene
• Using synthetic cloths
• Constant exposure to dirty water
• Overweight, diabetes, poor immunity
These are simple tips that one can follow to prevent fungal infection:
• Fungus grows in Hot and humid climate, therefore, keep dry during monsoon.
• Take a bath twice a day. Don’t use extra hot water that can damage your skin, use lukewarm water.
• Sprinkle powder in your folds to minimize friction and reduce sweating.
• Don’t share clothes with anyone. Wash your cloths in hot water and dry them properly. And always iron your cloths before wearing.
• Use loose cotton cloths and avoid wearing denim.
• If anyone in your family is suffering from fungal infection make sure s/he is treated right away, as it is contagious.
• If your pet is suffering from fungal infection always visit veterinary doctor, as infection is contagious.
• Although there is nothing that can be done about the hot humid climate you can definitely improve on lifestyle habits when it comes to your stress levels. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet, try to get in proper 8 hours of sleep and exercise regularly. This will boost your immunity and prevent infections.
• Never buy OTC (Over The Counter) medicines, always consult your dermatologist.
• Fungal infections are recurring in nature, therefore always finish the full course of treatment.