Mycoses (fungal skin lesions), as a rule, are activated precisely in the summer. Moreover, both children and adults are susceptible to them. Such diseases cause a lot of inconvenience and do not go away without special treatment. Why do fungi love warm weather so much?
Symptoms of superficial mycoses
According to the World Health Organization, 20% of all inhabitants of the planet are affected by various fungal diseases. Moreover, almost every person has suffered a similar disease at least once in his life. The most common are superficial mycoses – epidermophytosis (fungal diseases of the feet) and onychomycosis (nail fungus).
Typical symptoms of the disease are:
- Itching and burning on the skin between the toes.
- Peeling, often with redness.
- Cracked feet.
- Rough skin.
- The formation of a zone with fine bubbles.
- Compaction of the nail or, conversely, the nail plate is too thin.
- Change in nail color to whitish, grayish, yellow.
- Splitting nails, uneven edges.
- Nails stop growing to the nail bed.
Reasons for the development of fungal infections
Spores of pathogenic fungi surround us everywhere: in public places, on public transport, on the beaches and even at home. Moreover, some of the species, such as the genus Candida , can generally be part of a healthy microflora. Therefore, in order for an infection to develop, simply contact with the fungus is not enough. Dermatologists identify factors that contribute to the consolidation and growth of the fungus:
- A humid environment (this is precisely the reason for the prevalence of fungi in baths and saunas).
- Cracks, wounds on the skin.
- Skin lesions. For example, sunburn, irritation, diaper rash.
- Weakened immune system
And all these conditions are often created precisely in the summer, warm season. The skin sweats actively, especially in the area of folds. In addition, due to open shoes, various dirt, small grains of sand can get on the feet, which, when walking, injure the epidermis. The sun combined with a light breeze can irritate the skin, and diaper rash often occurs due to heat.
Even the Pityrosporum ovale fungus , which is the main cause of dandruff, is often active in the summer. It is during this season that the sebaceous glands may work harder because of the high air temperature, strong sunlight or frequent soaking of hair (for example, at sea). And this creates a favorable environment for the spread and growth of the fungus.
With regard to immunity, it is generally accepted that its weakening occurs in autumn and spring. However, in summer, conditions often arise under which the protective functions of the body are significantly reduced. So, for example, a vacation in a different, unusual for the body, climatic zone can cause a temporary deterioration in immunity.
Children’s fungal diseases
Children are most susceptible to mycoses – in pediatric dermatology, fungal diseases account for 37-40% of all diseases. This is due, first of all, to the characteristics of the child’s skin. She differs from an adult in the following characteristics:
- Hydrophilicity – the ability to better absorb and retain water on the surface.
- Increased vascularization – proliferation of blood vessels.
- Reduced bactericidal activity of the sebaceous and sweat glands – here children often have various infections.
- Thin and delicate epidermis that is easily injured.
- Exposure to sunburn, various irritations, etc.
Children’s diseases of a fungal nature are often associated with the imperfection of the baby’s immune system, which is just being formed during this period. In addition, it is for childhood that frequent respiratory viral infections are characteristic, which also worsen the body’s resistance.
In the summer, the risk factors for mycoses in children become much greater. For example, spores of the fungus Malassezia furfur , the causative agent of varicolored lichen, are often found in the sand .
Treatment of fungus on the skin: advice from a dermatologist
If symptoms characteristic of fungal infections appear, in no case should you self-medicate. This is due, first of all, to the fact that only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis based on the results of examinations. After all, similar skin lesions can be caused by completely different diseases – psoriasis, neurodermatitis, vitiligo, eczema and others. Treating such diseases with antifungal agents is not only ineffective, but also dangerous, since some of them can provoke exacerbations.
If the diagnosis is made, treatment can be prescribed in two ways:
- Only local preparations – ointments, creams, emulsions. Among the most common: terbinafine , naftifine , clotrimazole , miconazole , sulfuric tar and salicylic ointment.
- Local and systemic drugs. The second are added to the course of treatment if the mycoses are extensive, the disease is started. Among these drugs, the most commonly prescribed are: fluconazole, griseofulvin , itraconazole .
Be prepared that the treatment may take a long time. For example, with severe damage to the nail plate, the course of medication ends only when the nail has completely grown back. This may take several months. Foot fungus is treated for 2-4 weeks.
Along with medications, therapy also includes preventive measures that prevent mycosis from spreading.
Prevention of infections in summer
The main measures for the prevention of fungal infections are as follows:
- Strictly follow the rules of hygiene – use only your own towels, washcloths, etc.
- Wear flip-flops on beaches and public pools.
- Periodically wash summer shoes and slippers with soap.
- Give preference to open shoes made from natural materials – fabrics, leather. Try not to wear sneakers and other similar shoes in hot weather.
- Monitor your diet. Too fatty foods, sweets, alcoholic drinks can provoke increased sweating. In addition, these foods can reduce immunity.
- Everything, even small wounds, should be washed and treated with an antiseptic.
- It is best to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun to prevent skin burns.
- Trim your toenails often.
In the summer, it is useful to make foot baths with decoctions of a string, chamomile, celandine. If there is a risk of infection with a fungus, for example, on vacation, you can use tar soap, special pharmaceutical sprays for treating feet. With any suspicion of mycosis, an urgent need to consult a dermatologist – an unreleased disease is treated much easier and faster.