Fungal Infection of the Skin


Fungal Infection of the Skin

Fungal infection (also called tinea) of the skin is very common and affects up to 20-25% of the population at any time.   It can affect the skin, foot (also known as athlete’s foot) and finger or toe nails.  People with higher risk of getting fungal skin infection include those who; 

  • have weakened immune system (such as patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or HIV patients
  • take long-term antibiotics or steroids
  • have unhealthy lifestyle or overweight with skin folds
  • have poorly controlled diabetes
  • have constantly wet or sweaty skin (people doing sports or gym exercise a lot)
  • have urinary incontinence (such as babies or stroke patients wearing diapers)
Click to view DoctorPedia video on Fungal Infection

Symptoms and Signs

Although fungal infection can affect any part of the body, it is usually found on moist and damp skin  such as in the skin folds under the breast, the neck and groin areas.   It can also be found on the feet (called tinea pedis and is common in people spending a lot of time in wet areas such as changing rooms and sauna or steam baths), under the finger or toe nails (called onychomycosis) and on the hair (called tinea capitis).

The skin rash is usually

  • Red in colour with white scales at the edges
  • With smaller pustules or blisters
  • Itchy



Fungal skin infections tend to recur even after successful treatment because of the lifestyle or risk factors.  Try to follow these useful tips can help prevent the infection from recurring or developing in the first place;

  • Wash your feet and bathe regularly before sleep
  • Change out of your wet clothes or socks where possible
  • Use bed sheets and towels made of breathable cotton material and change them regularly
  • Apply powder to keep your skin dry and reduce dampness throughout the day
  • Avoid shoes or clothes made of nylon or plastic because they make your feet or body sweaty
  • Avoid walking barefoot on wet areas in public places which may be dirty
Click to view Aanchal video on Fungal Infection of the Skin: Dos and Don’ts


Treatment for fungal skin infection requires;

  • Anti-fungal creams (for small areas of infection)
  • Oral anti-fungal medicines (where the infection is more widespread)

The most common anti-fungal medication include;

  • Clotrimazole
  • Econazole
  • Miconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Butenafine
  • Terbinafine

You need to finish the entire course of the medication and NOT STOP prematurely otherwise there may be a risk of recurrence.  While on treatment, adopt good hygiene and keep the infected area dry and clean.  DO NOT go swimming or share towels, in case you spread the infection to other people.

Click to view Skin Diaries video on Fungal Infection Treatment

See a skin specialist if the fungal infection keeps recurring despite treatment

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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