Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Fungal Infection & Psoriasis

Dr. Susmit Haldar talks about fungal infection as well as Psoriasis & precautions required to be taken in order to protect from fungal infection & Psoriasis

Published: Feb 22, 2021 01:04:12 PM IST
Updated: Feb 22, 2021 07:55:34 PM IST

Fungal Infection & Psoriasis
Categories of Fungal Infection

There are four categories of fungal Infection,

Superficial fungal infections are caused by fungi that grow on the surface of skin & hair.

Subcutaneous fungal infections penetrate below the skin to involve the subcutaneous, connective, and bone tissue.

Systemic fungal infection - Systemic mycoses or deep mycoses infect internal organs and become widely disseminated throughout the body.

Cutaneous mycoses or dermatomycoses - Include such infections as athlete’s foot and ringworm, where growth occurs only in the superficial layers of skin, nails, or hair. 

Causes of Dermatophytosis 

Dermatophytosis infections are fungal infections caused by dermatophytes a group of fungi that invade and grow in dead keratin.

Several species commonly invade human keratin and these belong to the Epidermophyton, Microsporum and Trichophyton genera.

They tend to grow outwards on skin, producing a ring-like pattern - hence the term 'ringworm'.

They are very common and affect different parts of the body.

They can usually be successfully treated but success depends on the site of infection and on compliance with treatment.

Dermatophytes are also classified into different subtypes which include anthropophilic, zoophilic, and geophilic.

Anthropophilic dermatophytes are the main cause of human dermatophytosis. They are often transmitted from one person to another or by contaminated objects (e.g. clothes, hats, hairbrushes), and generally cause long-lasting infection with mild inflammation.

Zoophilic dermatophytes they can occasionally spread to humans by direct contact.

Geophilic dermatophytes grow in keratin-rich soil containing decaying feathers, horns, and hairs.

Issued in Public Interest by Oaknet Healthcare

Treatment for Dermatophytosis 

Treatment is done to reduce risk for secondary bacterial infection, and limit spread of the infection to other body sites or other individuals. Topical antifungal therapy is the treatment of choice

Ring worm lesions on glabrous skin that have limited size can be treated by topical creams or solution as shampoo, such as clotrimazole and miconazole,

Severe or persistent dermatophyte nail infections can also be treated with chemical or surgical removal of the affected nails.  

All of dermatophytes infections need a long time to be cured not less than two weeks. Some of cases need at least six months to cure such as Tinea capitis and onychomycosis. Distribution of squamous epithelium cells that hold fungal elements within it are the source to cause dermatophytosis new infection. Good hygiene and limited sharing things of other people is the important to control and prevent the infection with dermatophytes.

To prevent the spreading of an infection, individuals should avoid close contact with others, as well as sharing personal objects that could be contaminated.  

Factors Causing Fungal Infection 

There are number of factors that increase the risk of developing fungal infections which include:

  • Being very young or very old
  • Douching or using feminine deodorants or scented tampons
  • Exposure to contaminated surfaces especially showers facilities, swimming pools, and hot tubs/spas.
  • Having diabetes
  • Having a weakened immune system due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, or taking steroid medications or chemotherapy
  • Organ transplant recipient
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Taking strong antibiotics, especially for long periods of time
  • Wearing tight-fitting underwear, thongs, jeans, or other pants if you are a female 

Care to be taken in Fungal Infection 

There are some tips which are required to followed for taking care from fungal infection 

  • Avoiding douching
  • Changing tampons frequently
  • Cleansing the genitals daily with mild soap and water
  • Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet
  • Following your treatment plan for conditions, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS
  • Regular application of medicated foot powder
  • Seeking regular routine medical care
  • Daily washing and ironing of clothes and undergarments. 
  • Keeping feet, groins, underarms and buttocks dry and clean.   
  • Keeping nails short
Avoid wearing tight clothes, jeans and shoes.

Regular baths with antifungal soaps

Treatment for Psoriasis 

Treatment for Psoriasis depends on how severe the Psoriasis is there are various options for the treatment of Psoriasis which include topical therapy, light therapy & oral or injected medications  

In Topical Therapy it includes corticosteroids which are used for the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis. They are available as ointments, creams, lotions, gels, foams, sprays and shampoos. Mild corticosteroid ointments (hydrocortisone) are usually recommended for sensitive areas, such as your face or skin folds, and for treating widespread patches. 

Topical therapy also include Vitamin D analogues, Retinoids, Calcineurin inhibitors, Salicylic acid, Coal tar, Goeckerman therapy   

For treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis Light Therapy is a first line option which involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light. It includes brief daily exposures to sunlight which might improve Psoriasis  

Light Therapy also includes UVB broadband, UVB narrowband, Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), Excimer laser  

In case of moderate to severe psoriasis when other treatment options fail oral or injected (systemic) drugs can be used. 

In oral or systemic medications it includes use of steroids for treating persistent Psoriasis patches. Oral & systemic medications also include Retinoids, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, and Biologics. 

Co-Morbid Conditions Associated with Psoriasis :

Comorbidities associated with Psoriasis include 

  • Psoriatic arthritis 
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular Disease 
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Type 2 Diabetes  
  • Obesity 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Psoriasis is also associated with a number of other conditions which include osteoporosis, uveitis, and liver and kidney disease
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