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Fungal skin infections are usually mild — and, from athlete’s foot to ringworm, most of us will be infected at least once in our lifetime.
Here, Dr Justine Hextall, a consultant dermatologist at Tarrant Street Clinic in Arundel, West Sussex, looks at the best over-the-counter options for these everyday infections.
Fungus - Foot - Tinea - Pedis - Contact
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot, tinea pedis, can be picked up through contact with previously infected surfaces — commonly in gyms or swimming pools — causing an itchy rash. Sweaty environments are perfect for the fungus to continue to grow, so the best way to fight athlete’s foot is to keep your feet dry.
The active ingredient in Scholl Athlete’s Foot Powder (£5.09 for 75g, Boots) is tolnaftate, which, as well as killing the fungus that causes the itchy rash, helps stop reinfection — a common problem, mainly because people don’t wash or replace their sweaty shoes, which can harbour the fungus.
Lotion - Dermol - £11 - Lloyds - Pharmacy
You can use a mild antimicrobial lotion, such as Dermol 500 (£11.94 for 500ml, Lloyds Pharmacy) in the shower, as this will tackle sweaty areas in folds of skin.
Dry the area well, including between the toes. Keep applying the powder until symptoms clear, which may take up to four weeks.
Foot - Infection - Dr - Hextall - Powder
If you are prone to athlete’s foot, once the infection has cleared, Dr Hextall advises using the powder daily as a preventative measure.
Ringworm has nothing to do with worms, but is a fungal infection — characterised by a ring-shaped red or silvery rash that may be itchy — and spread via human-to-human contact.
Treatment - Location - Children - Scalp - Puberty
Treatment depends on the location. Children are more likely to get it on the scalp (after puberty, hormonal changes make the scalp a less friendly environment for the fungus).
Nizoral shampoo (£9.29 for 100ml, Boots) can help prevent the spread in early infections. It includes 2 per cent anti-fungal treatment ketoconazole,...
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