Parenting Health and Wellness

Fungal infection during monsoon -- how to cope

Dr Pooja AttreyPT
All age groups

Created by Dr. Pooja Attrey(PT)
Updated on Aug 16, 2017

Fungal infection during monsoon how to cope

Monsoons are such a relief but along with arespite from the scorchingsummer heat and irritating waterlogging, an unwelcomed guest the rain brings with it is various health hazards like digestive and skininfections. The easy targets are children with low immunity living in poor hygienic conditions, making them more susceptible to various infections after getting wet in the rain. It has been recorded that children between the age group of 4-10 yearsaccount for around 20% of skin ailments due to various allergies and bacterial or fungal infections.

Other Factors Contributing To Skin Infections During Monsoon

Although children get fungal infections during any season, experts agree that they suffer more in the monsoon. This is because most fungi thrive in hot and humid climates and monsoon provides them the perfect environment. Additionally, 5 other factors that contribute to skin infections during monsoon are:

  1. Not maintaining proper hygiene
  2. Using shoes and socks made of non-breathable synthetic material
  3. Wearing tight synthetic clothes that do not allow the skin to breathe or sweat to evaporate
  4. Exposing their hands and feet constantly to contaminated water
  5. Obesity, Diabetes or other Immuno-compromised conditions

Common Fungal Infections To Watch Out For During The Monsoon:

  1. Ringworm:This is a contagious fungal infection of the skin, appearing as a circular or ring-shaped rash. It usually begins as a small, itchy, red or scaly patch, and can spread to other parts of the body including the scalp.

    Causes of Ringworm:Your toddler may get ringworm from an infected person, pet, contaminated toys or clothes, swimming pool or while crawling on infected soil in a park. Excessive sweating increases the chances of contracting ringworm

  2. Nail Infections:Nails are at risk and carriers of fungal infections during the rainy season, due to sweating andthe continuous scratching children do. Nails can become discoloured, brittle and rough, ultimately detaching from the nail bed. There might also be red, swollen and itchy skin around the nails.

    Causes Of Nail Infections:This fungal infection can result from overexposure to contaminated water, damage to the nail, or scratching sweaty or infected skin. Any moisture or debris trapped under the nails encourages the infection to grow. Ingrown nails are also prone to infections

  3. Athletes Foot: Athlete's foot is an infection that results in a red, itchy and moist rash on the feet. It usually starts at the toes and moves on to other areas of the feet with a burning sensation, cracked skin, blisters and foul-smelling feet.

    Causes Of Athletes’ Foot:It isn't common in babies and toddlers, but preteens can get it by running outside barefoot in the monsoon season. Athlete's foot flourishes in hot and moist environments like in sweaty shoes or showering areas. It is highly contagious and can spread through contact with an infected surface

Common Skin Allergies During Monsoon

Besides fungal infections,toddlers could easily get these skin allergies too, due to humidity during the monsoon, such as-

  1. Heat Rash:It is a red, pimply eruption that your baby can easily get in hot and humid weather. This kind of climate may cause your baby to sweat a lot; causing his/her skin pores to clog. If the sweat is blocked then a heat rash develops usually on neck, under arms, back and near the edges of diaper area.

    Causes Of Heat Rash:The baby can get this rash when he sweats heavily. It isn't painful, but quite itchy

  2. Diaper Rash:Quite common in babies, it affects baby's genitals and skin folds in the thighs and bottom. This rash usually looks red and inflamed. If not treated in time, it can grow into a fungal or bacterial infection. A fungal infection starts with red spots that merge to become big red blotches. A bacterial infection results in oozing yellow patches or pus-filled pimples.

    Causes Of Diaper Rash:The main reason for this rash is wetness from contact with pee or potty. Even if you change your baby's nappy often, the heat and humidity of the monsoon can cause a nappy rash or aggravate one into a serious skin infection

  3. Eczema:It can make baby's skin dry, flaky, scaly and itchy. When it flares up, the baby's skin could also get red and cracked.The most affected areas are hands, face, neck, inner elbows and back of the knees.

    Causes of Eczema:Till now nobody knows for sure why some babies get eczema.It can be caused by external factors like changes in the environment or internal factors like genetics.Whatever the reason may be, it is certain that eczema can be triggered by humidity, temperature change and exposure to other irritants during the monsoon

  4. Scabies:It is an extremely itchy rash, caused by parasitic mites.The rash looks like red bumps usually found between fingers, on elbows, armpits, tummy and genitals. You may find inflamed areas filled with small water blisters.

    Causes Of Scabies:This infection is usually contracted from already an infected person.The hot and humid monsoon encourages this skin infection to spread

Tips On Preventing Fungal Infections And Cures

For all the infections mentioned above, unhygienic conditions and humidity are the biggest culprits and proper hygiene, dryness and letting skin breathe openly are your saviours. You can follow these suggestions -

  1. Once you suspect that your baby is infected,consult a dermatologist who would prescribe oral or topical antifungal medications
  2. Don't overdress your baby. Loose fitting, light cotton clothes are the best to use in this season
  3. Keep your baby away from infected people
  4. Trim your baby's nails to prevent him/her from scratching and spreading the infection
  5. Keep your baby clean to prevent the build up of sweat, dirt and grime on his/her skin
  6. Give them regular baths and add a few drops of a mild disinfectant or neem oil to cleanse his/her skin
  7. Keep your baby dry - especially in the areas where the skin folds
  8. Keep your surroundings clean
  9. Keep your baby's feet clean and dry
  10. Use breathable thin cotton socks,if you must, and change them at least once a day
  11. Make sure your child wears open-toed shoes,floaters or flip flops in the right size
  12. Keep alternating the shoes your baby wears, you will allow them time to become dry again
  13. Avoid sharing clothes or towels
  14. Avoid using commercial swimming pools or public parks during monsoon
  15. For the problem of excessive sweating, anti-perspirant lotions can be used once the skin heals
  16. Ensureyour child is properly hydrated by giving them a lot of fresh juices and water

Home Remedies To Provide Relief From Itchy Skin

Apart from these tips, traditional home remedies can keep your baby cool and provide relief from itchy skin. They also act as a barrier against irritants like dust.These can be used on otherwise uninfected babies as well. You can try these 5 home remedies on infected areas of your baby's skin. Wash them off once they dry -

  1. Honey, besan and milk paste
  2. Multani mitti paste
  3. Besan ubtan - make a pack by mixing curd, mustard oil and a pinch of turmeric
  4. Chandan gulabjal paste– a cooling pack made with sandalwood powder and rose water
  5. Neem leaf paste

Keep your baby’s skin and smile both blossoming this rainy season. Happy Monsoon!

Did you find Dr. Attrey’s information on monsoon-related infectionsuseful? How do you keep your little one safe and healthy during the monsoon? Do leave your comments…. We love hearing from you!

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| Aug 20, 2017

my baby also hav ringworm... in his hands. wht should i do?

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| Aug 18, 2017

@ahwini.. plz get a dermatologist consultation.. Had the patches been there because of sand play,they wouldnt just be at ur babys face!

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| Aug 18, 2017

thank you so much.. glad that blog has been useful for u'll.. :)

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| Aug 17, 2017

very helpful information thnx a lot...

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| Aug 17, 2017

very useful thnx

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| Aug 17, 2017

really helpful tips.. will definitely try some of these tips.. thanx

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| Aug 17, 2017

Good to know information.... my baby is two and a half year old and gets white patches on his cheeks.... is it because he playa in sand.... can pls anyone answer?

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| Aug 17, 2017

suprb information thank u.

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| Aug 16, 2017

thanks for sharing tips, it's useful for all parents.

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