Fungal infection can happen on the skin, mouth, vagina or nails. Depending on the area infected, the symptoms and time taken to treat the infection will be different.
Fungal infections on the skin can appear as a red, itchy rash (commonly known as “ringworm”) or a white spot. A fungal infection on the foot is commonly known as “athlete’s foot”, where the skin on the sole and the toe webs becomes scaly and peels. The infected area will be itchy and blisters may appear.
You can catch a fungal infection from someone else who is infected, or even from an infected dog or cat. You can also pick it up from places such as the swimming pool. Infection from one body part (such as your feet) can also spread to another part (such as your groin).
What you can do
- Apply anti-fungal cream on the affected areas 2 times a day until the symptoms disappear.
- Continue using it for at least another 7 days after the symptoms disappear. In the case of white spots, the white skin colour remains even after the infection has been successfully treated. However, this will slowly improve over time as the skin goes back to its normal colour.
- Oral anti-fungal medicines are needed for fungal infections affecting large areas of your body.
- Fungal nail infection requires a longer time to treat. It is important to note that getting rid of the fungi does not ensure that the nails return to their normal look.
You can prevent fungal infection
- Keep the skin folds in your groin area, the space between your toes and your armpits dry to prevent fungal infection. The use of powder may help.
- Do not walk around bare-footed in areas where the floor is wet as fungi may be present. Examples include common showers, gyms, public toilets and swimming pools.
- Avoid sharing personal towels, combs and hairbrushes as they may be infected. Make sure you use your own personal items because these fungal infections are easily passed from one person to another person.
- Wear cotton socks to absorb the sweat or wear open-toe sandals if your feet sweat a lot. Change your socks daily.
- Avoid wearing damp shoes. Try to have two pairs of shoes that you can switch around to allow them to air and dry.
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Keep the vaginal area clean. Use mild, perfume-free soap and water and rinse completely.
- After using the toilet, wipe from front to back
- Avoid using vaginal douche
When to see a doctor
- See a doctor if the condition does not get better
- If you are pregnant
- Vaginal fungal infections keeps happening
Updated in Nov 2018
This article does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. People with special health needs such as babies, children below 12 year old, elderly and pregnant ladies should see a doctor instead of self-treatment. Always read the instructions and warnings on the package before taking any medicine