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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ringworm is a common name for fungal skin infections.  These types of infections are also referred to as tinea.  They affect approximately 10% to 20% of the population. Ringworm appears as rings or round red patches with clear centers and red, scaly borders.   Tinea can affect the scalp, nails, or skin. 

Management for superficial fungal infections involves some simple non-drug methods, and over-the-counter remedies in the form of sprays lotions and creams.  Affected individuals should try to reduce moisture in the affected area.  Loose-fitted clothing made of cotton or material that absorbs moisture should be worn.  The skin should be dried completely before covering with clothing.  If the infection involves the feet, flip flops should be worn with bare feet to prevent spread to others and reinfection.

There are also many topical antifungal agents available.  Examples include Canesten cream (clotrimazole), Nizoral shampoo (ketoconazole), and Monistat-Derm (miconazole), to name a few. Creams and solutions are useful because they can be rubbed into the area.  Solutions work in hairy areas because they are easier to apply.  Powders can serve as useful additions to creams and solutions.  They are helpful when the infection is wet or oozing, or where a drying agent is needed.  When applying the antifungal product it should be applied to the lesion as well as one to two inches around the lesion.  The antifungal should also be used for one to two weeks after lesions clear to reduce the rate of recurrence.

Patients who have diabetes, or those who are immunosuppressed may need prescription oral therapy.  It is best for your doctor to assess theses fungal infections.  Fungal infections of the nail are also resistant to over-the-counter treatment. 

There are some home remedies for treating nail fungus.  Patients have tried applying Vics VapoRub and tea tree oil.  There is not a lot of evidence to suggest the efficacy of these products for this condition, however some people may wish to try them before resorting to an oral medication.

If you think you may be affected by a fungal infection there are a number of treatment options available.  Most issues can be resolved with some persistence and the proper product.  Please speak to your pharmacist about what option is best for you.

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