Fungal Infections During The Downpour

. 3 min read

Monsoons are a relief from the unforgiving sun - the rain is fresh and ever pouring. Although at times this seems to be cozy weather, it invites a lot of health concerns such as fungal infections. Younger individuals, or ones that have low immunity are more susceptible to infections after getting drenched in the rain.

There are a few factors that contribute to skin infections during the monsoon season. Fungi thrive in climates that are hot and humid, and monsoons give them the perfect home. Other factors includes poor hygiene, wearing shoes and socks that are not breathable, the use of tight synthetic clothes that don’t let the skin breathe (as a result sweat doesn’t evaporate), the exposure of hands and feet to water that is contaminated and individuals that are immunocompromised - diabetics, obesity, etc.

There are a few fungal infections that people should be on the lookout for during the rainy season:

Ringworm:
This is a fungal infection of the skin that is contagious. They appear on the skin as a rash that is circular or ring in shape. Although initially it is a small itchy patch that is red, it can spread to other parts of the body, even your scalp. There are few causes of ringworms - getting it from another person that’s infected, any materials or clothes that are contaminated and even public swimming pools. Sweat during the monsoon is inevitable and this is also a factor that increases a person’s vulnerability to get infected.

Infections of the nails:
Sweating and scratching by the nails and nail beds increases the chances of carrying fungal infections. They become brittle and change color - they can detach from the nail bed if longstanding. Some people may experience red skin around the nails that could be swollen and itchy. The reason the nails are affected is because the infection is a result of the nails being exposed to water that has been contaminated - the nail is damaged and sweaty and infected skin around the nail. If there is any debris that is under the nails with more moisture, the infection grows quicker. If people suffer from ingrown nails, they are more prone to infections.

Athlete's Foot:
A person that has this infection ends up with a rash on their feet that is red, itchy and moist. It starts from the toes and then further moves to the rest of the foot. They may experience a burning sensation, skin that is cracked, blisters and feet that have a foul odor. Preteens are the usual targets for this, but this condition is common in environments that are moist and hot - examples would be sweaty shoes or public showers. This is highly contagious and can be spread even though contact with a surface that’s infected.

Besides fungal infections, skin allergies are also common in the monsoon season because of the intense humidity that seems to always linger. Here are a few to look out for:

Heat Rash:
In hot weather the skin breaks out in small red eruptions called prickly heat because of sweat that blocks the pores of the skin, clogging them. The sweat is blocked allowing the rash to develop - common places are the neck, under arms and back.

Eczema:
If this condition is already there, then it definitely is aggravated during the monsoon season. But it is when the skin is very dry and ends up scaling and being flaky. The flares also cause them to become red and crack further. The areas of the skin that are commonly affected are the hands, neck, inner part of the elbows, back of the knees and the face. It can be cause by external and internal factors; external being the changes in the environment while internal being genetic. It is highly triggered by the changes in temperature, intense humidity and if the skin is irritated.

These are few skin conditions to keep in mind while following a skin care routine for your body during the downpour. Keep in mind that just because you read this and one symptom matches what you are experiencing, it doesn’t mean you have one of these conditions. The truth is that only a dermatologist that assesses the affected skin can conclude with a diagnosis. The condition is only then treated based on your unique skin - now who doesn’t want special treatment like that?

With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for all you skin care needs from wherever you are, right from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours. Start your consultation today: