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Fungus on hands as a common dermatological infection

June 12th, 2012 by admin


Fungus is a common infection that can affect different parts of the body. One of the common types of fungi infection is tinea manuum, which affects hands, notably nails, palms and skin between the fingers. Let’s consider causes of this disease, its symptoms and ways of treatment.

Causes and transmission of hand fungus

Tinae manuum is caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungi. This infection is highly contagious and may be easily picked up from other infected part of the body, for instance from feet. It may also develop after direct contact with infected person, animal or soil. That’s why children, who often touch animals and play in the ground, and gardeners are at increased risk of being infected. The infection is more likely to be picked up if there is a tear in the skin, it also easily passes between the members of the family.

In most cases the immune system suppresses fungi, but in some cases, when the immunity is suppressed by some illness or stress, the infection manages to develop. If a person takes antibiotics, he is also at higher risk of being infected, as antibiotics kill the harmless bacteria that control fungi.

The most favorable condition for fungus is warm and moisture environment. That’s why people with increased sweetening are affected more often.

Symptoms of fungus on hands

Hand fungus has rather obvious symptoms and is associated with:

- Itching and burning of affected area;
- Scaly and peeling rash, that usually occurs in a ring-shaped manner;
- Dry skin that may chap if left untreated;
- Oozing blisters;
- Dark patches of the skin or discoloration of areas of the skin.

Although the symptoms of the infection are rather uncomfortable and unpleasant, they usually don’t cause pain, except from severe cases.

Diagnosis and treatment of the disease

Visual examination is not enough for revealing the hand fungus as several other illnesses, like psoriasis, may cause similar symptoms. The diagnosis is confirmed with medical investigations like scraping and cultures.
As any other fungal infection, fungus on hands is treated with both topical and oral antifungals. Topical medications include ointments and gels like terbinafine, econazole, butenafine, clotrimazole; among the most common oral drugs are terbinafine, fluconazole, griseofulvin and itraconazole. Subacetate solutions are applied to manage sweetening.
Treatment usually takes from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the stage and severity of the infection.

Prevention of fungus on hands

The following prevention measures should be taken both while treatment of the infection to prevent its further development and just in order to prevent the infection:

- Keep your hands skin dry; manage increased sweetening and dry hands after washing;
- Do not touch infected people, animals or other infected parts of the body, explain your children the importance of these measures;
- Wear protecting gloves while working in the garden;
- Take care of your hands and nails;
- Do not share personal objects like towels with other people.

Fungus on hands is not a serious disease and can be easily get rid of with medicines available over-the counter. However, it’s better to visit doctor to confirm the diagnosis, as you may confuse fungus with more serious dermatological illnesses, like psoriasis or eczema.

These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!

Other conditions that cause similar symptoms

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