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Corner of the Mouth Skin Infections – Causes and Treatment

Hair and skin info and tips from a leading board certified dermatologist

INFECTIONS AT THE CORNERS OF THE MOUTH

Redness and a white discharge at the corners of the mouth are a common occurrence in older people.  The main causes of this condition are a change in the structure of the mouth as a result of the loss of teeth and the sagging of the cheek muscles.

A fungus infection called Candidiasis can grow in the moisture which accumulates in the wrinkles at the corners of the mouth.  It causes redness, a discharge and itching.  The infection is worsened by over-salivation, taking broad spectrum antibiotics, and B vitamin and iron deficiencies.

TREATMENT

The first stage is assuring dental treatment which will remove the fundamental cause of the infection, and giving vitamin and iron supplements if necessary.  Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial medications containing steroids should be applied to the skin.  Once the infection has disappeared, a fat-based ointment should continue to be applied to the corners of the mouth.

 

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Nail Fungi – Onychomycosis Can Be Cured !

nail fungus info and tips from a leading board certified dermatologist

Nail Fungi – Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis of Nail fungus is a very common problem. 35 Million Americans suffer from nail fungus.

Nearly 50% of people aged 60 and above are stricken with some type of nail fungus.
The common features are dryness and disintegration of the nail plate in toe nails and less commonly in the finger nails.

The incidence of fungus infections of the nails increases with age. It usually begins with the toenails, and after a number of years may migrate to the fingernails. Most patients who suffer from fungus infections of the toenails also suffer from athlete’s foot, the symptoms of which are maceration and cracks of the skin and an intense itch. The affected nails are usually thick and yellow, with flaking upper surfaces.

The fingernails of housewives and of people who work in hot, moist environments (such as cooks and bakers) can be affected by a fungus called Candida. In these cases the skin surrounding the affected nails becomes red and infected; the damage begins at the base and sides of the nail.

Since there are other diseases which affect the nails, such as psoriasis, laboratory tests should be performed before treatment is begun in order to confirm the presence of a fungus and its exact classification.

The 4 types of onychomycosis:

Distal subungual onychomycosis is the most common
form of tinea unguium, and is usually caused by Trichophyton rubrum, which invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate.
White superficial onychomycosis (WSO) is caused by fungal invasion
of the superficial layers of the nail plate to form “white islands” on the plate. It accounts for only 10 percent of onychomycosis cases.
Proximal subungual onychomycosis is fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the proximal nail fold found more commonly when the patient is immunocompromised.

Candidal onychomycosis is Candida species invasion of the fingernails, usually
occurring in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water.

TREATMENT-

Despite the fact that fungus infections of the nails are not painful, they should always be treated. Untreated nails serve as a reservoir of fungi which spread to the surrounding skin, causing itching and discomfort when jewelry is worn.

In a relatively high percentage of cases, antifungal creams and lotions are not effective in curing infections of the nails. When only one nail has been affected, it may possibly be cured by dissolving the nail in a cream containing a high concentration of urea and fungicide. Unfortunately, this treatment fails in most cases, and the fungus must be treated with oral medications. The specific medication prescribed depends upon the type of fungus involved. Fingernails are renewed every six to eight months, whereas for toenails the process takes a year to eighteen months, and therefore the treatment must be continued for several months until all symptoms of the disease have disappeared.

Systemic antifungal medications,

terbinafine and itraconazole are quite effective but involve risk of adverse effects including liver function impairment and loss of tatste (Terbinafine) high cost.

Topical madicated nail paints

containing ciclopirox or amorolfine involve
Treatment of at least a year; some with daily application and some with twice weekly application. One of these kits includes mechanical nail filers.

Nd:YAG laser has been approved for onychomycosis treatment.
Clinical studies show effect in small minority of patients. Very high cost , and multiple treatment needed.

Over the internet offerings; different solutions requiring twice daily application for at least a year. Very slow improvement if any due to low compliance.

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Fungal Skin Infections – What To Do ?

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Fungal Skin Infections-

Fungal  infections of the body caused by dermatophytes are common among children who come into close contact with pets.  These infections appear as scaly flat rings with red edges and pale centers.  The rings grow and cover large areas of the body, including the face.  Since the external symptoms of the infection can be mistaken for other diseases (i.e. psoriasis), dermatophytes should be identified by demonstrating their presence in a culture of the scales.  Incorrect treatment, such as the use of medications containing cortisone, can worsen the infection and cause it to spread to other areas of the body.

Early Treatment-

Early treatment is critical.  Untreated fungus infections spread rapidly and can be transmitted to other members of the family.  Scarring occurs in certain cases, especially if the patient scratches the infected site, or if there is a secondary bacterial infection.  Washing the area with an antifungal soap containing iodine and applying fungicidal creams and ointments are only effective during the early stages of a fungus infection.  In most cases the attending dermatologist will recommend a fungicide taken orally for about two months.  In any event, whenever a fungus infection has been diagnosed it is important to determine its source.  If the source is found to be a family pet, the animal must be treated by a veterinarian.

FUNGAL INFECTIONS OF THE SCALP

The most common form of fungus infections of the scalp is ringworm.  It usually affects children and is only rarely found in adults.  It appears as round areas on the scalp from which the hairs have broken off.  If there is no severe inflammation, the area will be dry and covered with white scales and black dots, which are actually the stumps of the broken hairs.  When a severe inflammation is present, the affected areas are red, swollen and covered with a purulent discharge.  The presence of such an inflammation indicates that the fungus has penetrated into the skin of the scalp, and scarring will occur.  In severe cases there is fever and the lymph glands of the neck are swollen.

There is a less frequent form of fungus infection of the scalp called favus which also primarily affects babies and children.  If not properly treated, the disease can continue into adolescence.  In the presence of favus the hair loses its shine and the scalp turns red, with small, yellow, bowl-shaped scabs clinging to the skin and to the hair.  In certain instances there is an unpleasant odor (reminiscent of mouse’s urine), and sometimes the nails are affected.

TREATMENT

A fungus infection of the scalp can cause irreversible damage to the hair roots, leading to permanent bald patches.  It is therefore important to consult a dermatologist as soon as possible.  Such fungi are extremely infectious, and the patient should be isolated from other children until treatment has begun.  Topical medications and shampoos do not penetrate the skin of the scalp and do not destroy the fungus in the hair follicles.

It is now accepted practice to treat the disease orally.

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Skin Fungi Treatment – Fast And Easy !

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Skin Fungi Treatment-

There are hundreds of thousands of types of fungi in the world.

This immense class of organisms can be found in the air, in the soil, in plants and on the bodies of animals and humans.  Fungi constitute the mold on bathroom tiles, the yeast responsible for the fermentation of wine and beer, and of course the gourmet mushrooms we like to find on our plates.  Of the approximately 120,000 kinds of fungi known today, only about 50 cause disease in men and animals.  Disease-causing fungi are divided into three main groups: dermatophytes, yeast infections (Candidiasis) and Mucorales.  Fungal infections are classed according to their locations on the body.

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