Monsoons can bring a host of health problems, especially when it comes to your children’s skin and nails, through fungal infections. While these infections are not usually dangerous, they can be extremely uncomfortable and cause distress to both the child and the parents. To prevent fungal infections in skin and nails, it is important for parents to know a few good practices to keep their children safe and healthy this monsoon season. In this article, we will discuss the common types of fungal infections in skin and nails, precautions parents can take to avoid them, and when to consult a doctor.
What are these fungal infections that affect your child?
Fungal infections in a child’s skin and nails during the monsoons are common due to the warm and humid weather conditions. The monsoons create a favourable environment for the growth of fungi, which can easily invade the child’s skin and nails, causing various infections. While fungal infections can occur at any time of the year, they tend to be more prevalent during the monsoons.
Children are particularly susceptible during this season as their immune systems are still developing, making them more prone to infections. Additionally, their playful nature often exposes them to damp areas, such as puddles and wet surfaces, where fungal infections thrive.
Here are some of the common fungal infections that children may experience during the monsoons:
- Ringworm: This infection appears as circular or ring-shaped patches on the skin, scalp, or nails. It is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated objects.
- Nail infections: Fungal nail infections cause discoloration, thickening, and brittleness of the nails. These infections often occur due to exposure to moist and unhygienic conditions.
- Athlete’s foot: Also known as tinea pedis, this infection affects the skin between the toes, causing itching, redness, and scaling. It commonly occurs in children who frequently wear closed-toe shoes or walk barefoot in public areas.
- Eczema: While not directly caused by fungi, eczema is more prevalent during the monsoons due to increased moisture levels in the air. This condition causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin patches.
- Scabies: Scabies is caused by mites that burrow into the skin, leading to intense itching and a rash. It can easily spread through close physical contact with an infected individual.
Aside from fungal infections, the monsoons also bring forth other diseases that affect children, including prickly heat, nappy rash, stomach infections, and mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria. It is important for parents to be aware of these potential risks and take necessary precautions to protect their children’s health during the monsoons.
Tips for Parents to keep their kids infection-free this monsoon
As a parent, it is crucial to take necessary precautions to keep your child infection-free. Here are some essential tips to help you in this endeavour:
- Maintain good personal hygiene: Teach your child the importance of washing hands frequently, especially before meals and after using the restroom. Encourage them to bathe daily and make sure they dry their skin thoroughly, paying special attention to the folds and creases.
- Choose the right clothing: Opt for loose, breathable fabrics like cotton to keep your child’s skin dry. Avoid synthetic materials that trap moisture and promote fungal growth. Additionally, make sure your child changes out of wet clothes immediately to prevent fungal infections.
- Keep the skin dry: Excessive sweating can lead to fungal infections. Ensure that your child’s skin remains dry throughout the day by using talcum powder in the areas prone to sweat, such as underarms, groin, and feet.
- Trim nails regularly: Longer nails can accumulate dirt and moisture, making them a breeding ground for fungi. Trim your child’s nails regularly and teach them how to maintain good nail hygiene.
- Choose the right footwear: Closed shoes or boots can cause excessive sweating, which increases the risk of fungal infections. Opt for open-toed shoes or sandals made from breathable materials like leather or canvas. Make sure your child’s shoes are dry before they put them on.
- Avoid sharing personal items: Fungal infections are contagious, so make sure your child doesn’t share personal items like towels, clothes, socks, or shoes with others, as this can increase the risk of spreading the infection.
- Maintain a clean environment: Regularly clean and disinfect your child’s living area, including bedsheets, towels, and toys. Ensure proper ventilation and sunlight to discourage the growth of fungi.
Despite taking precautions, your child may still develop a fungal infection. It is important to know when to seek medical help. If your child experiences persistent itching, redness, or discomfort in the affected area, consult a paediatrician. They can accurately diagnose the condition and recommend suitable treatment options, such as antifungal creams or oral medications.
When to see a doctor
If you notice any unusual or persistent symptoms in your child’s skin or nails, it’s important to consult a doctor immediately.
Some common signs of fungal infections include redness, itching, scaling, and blistering. These symptoms can be accompanied by a foul odour and may cause discomfort or pain.
It’s important to note that not all fungal infections require medical attention, and some can be easily treated with over-the-counter remedies. However, if you notice any of the following signs, it’s best to seek medical advice:
– The infection is spreading rapidly and affecting multiple areas of the body
– The infection is causing severe pain or discomfort
– Your child has a fever or other signs of a systemic infection
– Your child has an underlying medical condition that may be worsening the infection
Remember, early detection and treatment can help prevent the spread of fungal infections and ensure a speedy recovery. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s health. Our clinic in Prabha Devi, is accessible if you are living in South Mumbai. Make an appointment to ensure your child is receiving the right treatment and care during these monsoon months.