URGENT CARE BLOG

02
Jul
2015
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  • Don’t Let Fungal Infections Spoil Your Summer Fun

    Summer is the time for camping, the beach, road trips and other kinds of outdoor fun. Unfortunately, the heat and high humidity can promote the development of fungal infections. These infections can prevent you from enjoying your favorite activities, so it’s important to understand what they are and how they’re treated.

    Athlete’s Foot

    As its name suggests, this is a fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot usually occurs around and between the toes. This fungus proliferates in warm, moist conditions like public showers, locker rooms, swimming pools, socks and shoes. Naturally, people are more susceptible to athlete’s foot during the summer. Symptoms of the infection include:

    • Scaling, cracking, blistering or peeling of the skin
    • Redness
    • Itching and burning

    This condition can usually be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungals. It’s important to keep your feet clean and dry throughout treatment. If the infection fails to improve in a few weeks or becomes worse, swelling or fever develop, or you suffer from diabetes, you should see your doctor.

    Ringworm

    Despite its name, this fungal infection has nothing to do with worms. It forms on skin’s surface as round, red rash. The condition is contagious and can be contracted from soil, objects, animals and other people. The rashes can be an eyesore, so you should be aware of the symptoms and remedies.

    Ringworm starts as a scaly, flattened patch that may or may not itch. It gradually develops a raised edge and forms a ring. The interior portion may be scaly, clear or red and bumpy. There can also be several rings. In some instances, these can develop on the scalp or another place that isn’t readily apparent, so if you itch and don’t know why, consider seeing a doctor.

    Ringworm usually responds to the same treatments used for athlete’s foot. If it doesn’t respond to treatment in two weeks, you should visit Urgent 9 for care.

    Valley Fever

    The fungus responsible for Valley Fever lives in soil in the southwestern US. When this soil is disturbed, the spores are picked up and carried by the wind, where it can be inhaled. The symptoms of Valley Fever are:

    • Coughing and chest pain
    • Fever
    • Chills and night sweats
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Achy joints
    • Splotchy red rash

    Valley Fever is usually treated through fluids and rest. If it doesn’t respond to this treatment, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal drug. Although Valley Fever can strike anyone, Filipinos, Hispanics and African-Americans are vulnerable to a serious form of the illness. Anyone of these ethnicities are urged to use extra caution.

    Tinea Versicolor

    Although it lacks a common name, this fungal skin infection is as prevalent as most well-known ones. Tinea versicolor affects pigmentation of the skin, producing dark or light spots on the skin. If your skin tans with sun exposure, these will be more noticeable since they fail to darken. Symptoms can include:

    • Scaling
    • Itching
    • Discolored patches on the shoulders, upper arms, chest or back

    Treatment involves antifungal products like creams, foams and shampoos. If it doesn’t respond to these methods, goes away and comes back or covers large areas of the body, consult your doctor.

    Jock Itch

    This fungal infection is a ringworm variant that proliferates in the moist, warm conditions of the groin, inner thighs and buttocks. It is characterized by a red, itchy rash. Treatment usually involves topical antifungal creams and keeping the area dry and clean. Symptoms can include:

    • Red, circular rash with raised borders
    • Redness on the thighs or groin
    • Skin peeling, flaking or cracking
    • Burning, itching or chafing on the groin or inner thighs

    It’s hard to enjoy summer activities when a fungal infection is keeping you down. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, please contact Urgent 9. We are an urgent care center for urgent and non-emergency doctor visits. We provide care without an appointment and assure that you’ll be seen in a timely fashion.

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