Tiny pits which may or may not be itchy are seen on the sole. There could be associated fungal infection of the web spaces of the toes. Regular usage of antifungal absorbent dusting powders with topical antibiotics cures this condition.
Dermatologists come across a variety of fungal infections on a daily basis; tinea versicolor, tinea corporis and cruris and candidiasis are mostly seen in summer. As is the case with bacterial infections, hyperhidrosis is a prime culprit leading to fungal infections. Let us consider the symptoms of each of these disorders. Tinea versicolor is seen as discolored (red or brown) patches on the neck, upper back or the chest.
These patches do not itch or hurt; they are noticed due to the said pigmentation of the affected cutis. It is more common in individuals with dandruff. Tinea infections also known as ringworm infections, on the contrary, are extremely itchy red or brown raised patches on the skin which spread along the periphery. Frequently affected areas are the groins (tinea cruris) and buttocks or waist (tinea corporis).
Candidiasis or intertrigo is seen mainly in the folds of skin i.e. underarms, groins, underneath the breasts and between buttocks. Moisture and friction leads to itchy sore red patches between the folds of the skin which can get super added infection with the fungus candida. Most fungal infections are managed with antifungal dusting powders and application of antifungal gels or lotions for a period of 2 weeks at least.
In patients with extensive infections or reduced immunity e.g. diabetics, oral antifungals like fluconazole or terbinafine are given.
Wearing comfortable cotton clothes and having a bath twice in a day certainly helps to prevent repeated infections.
The next part of the discussion would be pertaining to the harmful effects of sun rays. Vacations usually involve inadvertent and unnecessary sun exposure due to activities like swimming or shopping. There is no denying the fact that people are aware of the deleterious effects of sun and precautions to be taken against sun exposure. But there are a lot of misconceptions about the same.
Sun rays are primarily made of two components – UVA and UVB. Both components can cause tanning and early ageing of the skin though amongst the two UVB exposure is more worrying since it causes skin cancers as well. Maximum damage caused by sun rays occurs during 10am to 3 pm. Skin damage caused by UV rays can be acute or chronic. Acute sun damage is in the form of ‘sunburn’. Sunburn occurs with excessive exposure to sun rays in short period of time, especially in the fair skinned individuals.
The affected skin (exposed areas like face, V of the neck, arms) turns red and sore, sometimes with blisters and peels off with brown desquamation a few days later. If sun exposure occurs with moderate intensity over a period of time, then tanning, pigmentation, freckles and early wrinkling of the skin is observed. Apart from this, women after the age of 30 are particularly prone to developing sun allergies.
A sun allergic rash can present in many ways e.g. itchy white papules, red patches or hives, distributed in the sun exposed areas. These rashes typically recur in summers on exposure to sun rays. Sunscreen usage is a must to reduce the aforementioned damage caused by sun exposure. A word of caution, though.
Sunscreens are not absolute when it comes to sun protection. The only form of absolute protection is avoidance of sun rays during the afternoon and usage of physical or barrier protection e.g. umbrellas, broad rimmed hats and full length clothing. Also, broad spectrum sunscreens (block UVA and UVB) should be used with a minimum SPF of 30 for outdoor activities. Re apply the sunscreen after 4 hours. Remember that higher the SPF, oilier the sunscreen, hence it can worsen pimples in an acne prone person.
Acne or pimples may increase during the summer months due to excessive oiliness of the skin. One can use medicated face washes containing salicylic or glycolic acid to reduce the oil secretion. Also, water based products should be used to avoid blocking of pores.