How Can I Prevent Fungal Infections?
Treatment and prevention are equal partners in eradication present and recurrent fungal infections. Fungus does not ordinarily infect persons in excellent health, but it seizes the opportunity for colonization in areas that are dark, moist, and hypoxic, such as intertriginous skin (skin folds) and spaces between the toes.
Prevention is centered on denying fungus organisms these opportunities:
- Daily cleansing of skin folds: including under the breasts in women and in obese men, and between the toes. Thorough drying of these areas is mandatory to eliminate the most important factor that encourages fungal growth–moisture. Drying between the toes after showering is the single, best way to prevent tinea pedis/unguium.
- Ventilation/aeration: Of affected areas as much as possible.
- Absorbent fabrics that also breathe: Such as cotton, especially to separate skin folds.
- Daily drying powders: Many of these absorbents contain antifungal ingredients as well.
- Avoid public facilities, showers, etc., barefoot.
- Treatment of hyperhidrosis.
- Weight management: Treatment for obesity reduces the amount of exposure of intertriginous skin to approximation and friction.
- If there are co-factors such as diabetes: strict glycemic control.
- Avoid scratching pruritic areas to avoid tissue damage that could serve as a nidus for bacterial superinfection.