Monsoon: How to deal with fungal infections and other skin conditions

It is that time of the year when we welcome rains with open arms. Heavy downpour reminds us lazy days, umbrella, masala chai, samosas and just chilling in a blanket at home. But, the rains bring not only a welcome respite from the heat of summer; they also bring a whole new set of problems for your skin

Long hours of staying in wet clothes, repeated exposure to contaminated water and constant high environmental humidity cause physical discomfort as well as myriad of skin problems and allergies.

Humidity is a very familiar breeding ground for a host of bacteria, fungus & other infections that grow on the skin unchecked. Also the high acid content of the first showers of rain, cause further damage to skin and hair.

dermatologist and laser surgeon of Cutis Skin Studio
Dr Apratim Goel

Here are some common monsoon-related conditions we should be familiar with and how to deal with them:

Fungal infection of the toes or toe web spaces is called Athlete’s Foot. This problem is more common in men as they are usually with closed footwear. There is itching, scaling and discoloration of web spaces and also toenails may become discoloured or brittle.

Wear open footwear when out in the rain and change into dry socks and footwear when you get indoors. Always wash your feet with soap and water after exposure to puddles or rainwater. Apply antifungal dusting powder Abzorb prior to putting on socks and apply an antifungal ointment – at night. If the condition does not improve, please consult a dermatologist.

Another problem very common to rains is fungal infection of other body parts especially skin folds called ringworm or tinea. The skin is very itchy and round dry red skin patches form.

Here the solution will be to see a dermatologist at earliest and avoid using steroid ointment as they give immediate relief, but a bad relapse later. This is more common in diabetics.

Another organism that flourishes in rains and spared by close contact is a mite which causes a condition called scabies. This causes intense itching especially at night and a rash in finger web spaces and body folds.

Consult your doctor for treatment. Also since it spreads by contact, isolate the person and his belongings. All family members need to be created. More common in children.

Apart from these diseases there are usually many non-specific complaints, like wrinkling of the skin, body odour, dull, lifeless complexion or frizzing of hair – all due to excess humidity.

Sensitive skin: Is a common observation with almost all age groups. Due to irregular moisture content in the skin, skin becomes dry, itchy, sensitive and behaves weird. You can’t use our makeup anymore and nothing seems to agree with your skin.

However, by following a few simple tips and a regular skin care regime, you can manage to keep your skin and hair problems to a minimum and look good.

The author is an MD, DNB, FAGE Cosmetic dermatologist and Laser Surgeon at Cutis Skin Studio