FUNGAL INFECTIONS OF THE SKIN
What are "White Spot?"
- "White spot" or "panau" is a
superficial fungal infection of the
skin which is common in children and adults. It may be itchy.
It is made up of fine scaly white patches on the skin. It may
appear on your face, neck, shoulders, arms, trunk or legs. These spots
are active fungi infecting your skin. The medical name is Pityriasis
What is "Ringworm" ?
- Ringworm appears as scaly, reddish, ring-shaped patches with the
tendency to form complete rings with raised borders. This is called
tinea corporis (body), or tinea cruris (groin). It is caused by a
What is "Athlete's Foot" ?
- Athlete's foot is present when the skin between your toes become
very scaly and peels. You will also experience itchiness of the feet.
The fungus, which causes the infection may spread to your soles and
toe-nails. Then it called tinea pedis.
What is Moniliasis/Candidiasis
- This fungal infection is common on the lip area and genitals of
persons with diabetes, those taking oral steroids and on long term
antibiotics. It is itchy and the rash is red with white flakes. Females
may have a genital discharge and itch.
How to prevent superficial fungal infection
- Fungus grows when the skin is warm and moist. The space between your
toes, the skin folds in the groin and the armpits must be kept dry to
prevent such fungal infection.
- Do not walk barefoot in areas where the floor is wet - eg. bathroom,
lavatory, and swimming pool as the fungus tends to be present. Wear
- Avoid borrowing personal napkins, towels, combs and hair brushes as
they may be infected. Make sure you use your own personal items because
fungal infections are easily transmissible. Any item that comes into
contact with the affected areas must be sterilised before use.
- Nylon socks and covered shoes make your feet sweat. Wear cotton
socks to absorb the sweat, or open-toe sandals if your feet sweat
- Keep a healthy life-style with a balanced diet, exercise and have
time for rest, to increase your body's resistance. You will catch fungal
infection easily if you are weak.
How to treat superficial fungal infection
- Apply anti-fungal cream prescribed by your doctor on the affected
areas 2-3 times a day for 3 weeks. Such creams include nystatin,
tolnaftate, imidazole or naftidine creams.
- Do not stop using the medicine immediately after the infection has
cleared. Continues using it for at least 7 days after the infection
appears to be cleared. In the case of white spots, the white color
remains even after the infection has been successfully treated. However,
this will gradually fade as the skin recovers its normal colouring.
- Oral anti-fungal tablets are needed for fungal infections affecting
large areas. Your doctor may prescribe them.
- For prevention of white spots, use an anti-fungal shampoo once a
month on your scalp and body, leaving it on for 15 to 30 minutes before
washing it off. In the event of an infection, use this nightly for 7