George Woodbury MD 5/4/2023
Fungal infections are one of the more common skin problems faced by a Memphis Dermatologist like myself, and these can range from dry, often itchy or burning, red rough or blistered rashes on the scalp or body to truncal or extremities rashes that last for months unless treated. The cause can range from a breakdown in the skin barrier from Contact Dermatitis to a yeast or fungus that the patient picks up from the yard or the gymn. Let’s take a look at evaluation of these conditions -and management options - my perspective being that of a Cordova Dermatologist for the past over thirty plus years – with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates – 8143 Walnut Grove Road – Cordova TN 38018 (1-901-753-0168: www.Rheumderm.com/dermatology).
Fungal infections commonly affect the scalp and neck, and they can be a cause of Alopecia (Hair Loss). Yeast is a type of fungus that can affect the back and chest, causing what’s called Tinea Versicolor, a spreading often itchy rash. Sometimes children or athletes will spread fungal infections in school or at the gym, causing a widespread often sore or itchy rash on the body. And sometimes fungal infections can invade the fingernails or toenails, causing what’s called paronychia or onychomycosis, often requiring systemic medication.
Who’s at risk of fungal infections? High risk individuals are those who wash their hands frequently: young parents doing loads of laundry or bathing infants, people in occupations with frequent handwashing – such as nurses and surgeons, chefs and bakers, electricians and plumbers – and people with a family history of Asthma, Hay Fever, and/or Food Allergies. Other at risk groups include people in close contact with other people: spouses, roommates, fellow athletes, people using the gym while barefoot where other people with fungal infections have been walking, prisoners, people who frequent nail salons or who are exposed to yeast or fungus at the hairdresser’s facility.
Most Dermatologists treat fungal infections with either a topical antifungal cream or lotion – or a course of oral antifungal tablets. Topical and oral medications must often be continued for one to two months or longer. The topical medications include Nystatin Cream, the azole antifungal creams and lotions (Ketoconazole cream, Econazole Cream), and the allylamine antifungal creams (Naftifine Cream and terbinafine cream). Oral options can include oral griseofulvin tablets, the azole tablets and capsules (ketoconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules, fluconazole tablets, voriconazole), and systemic medications including amphotericin. These drugs often require lab monitoring, because they can sometimes affect the liver function, so it’s often a good idea for the patient to limit or avoid alcohol consumption while on treatment with oral antifungal medications.
At Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, I maintain an in-house CLIA-approved laboratory for identification of fungi and yeasts, to help guide the treatment that I recommend. I often take a test called a fungal culture, looking for what type of organism is involved, and my policy is to notify patients if they have a positive result, showing a certain type of fungus, which can often help to explain where that organism was picked up, whether it be from the gymn, from an animal such as a cat or dog, or even from the yard. These results often take a month or more after the patient is seen, because it takes time for the fungal organism to grown on the fungal culture plate.
So if you or a family member is suffering from itching, dryness, or rough areas of the hands (or feet), consider seeing a Dermatologist. My own Dermatology practice since 1993 has been with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 (www.Rheumderm.com; 1-901-753-0168). There are over 14,000 Dermatologists in the United States, and you could find one close to you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology’s website, AAD.org, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.
In 2016, I became the President of a company called Big River Silk Skincare Inc. (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com). We manufacture and distribute steroid-free moisturizer creams –GlycoShea Hand&Body Cream/Standard Strength, and GlycoShea Hand&Body Cream/High Strength – as well as our newest moisturizers – GlycoShea Hand&Body Lotion/Standard Strength, GlycoShea Hand&Body Lotion/High Strength, GlycoShea Hand&Body Oil/Standard Strength and GlycoShea Hand&Body Oil/High Strength.
The GlycoShea moisturizers both reduce dryness and roughness on the hands (and feet), and also remove rough areas of the skin because of their Glycolic Acid ingredient, an organic and natural chemical originally discovered in sugarcane. They can make a best hand cream. (1 oz of GlycoShea Hand&Body Products/Standard Strength: $19.95/2 oz: $29.95; 8 oz: $89.95; 1 oz of GlycoShea Hand&Body Products/High Strength: $29.95/2 oz; $44.95/8 oz: $134.95).
The products of Big River Silk Skincare – including our best face cream – GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream - can be purchased on site at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 – Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM – or on the web: https://www.Bigriversilkskincare.com. USPS shipping and handling for U.S. orders is $5.00 for orders under $40.00, otherwise complimentary shipping and handling ($10.00 for Canadian orders under $75.00; otherwise complimentary). 1-901-753-0168.
The moral of the story is “never itch in silence:” there is much new therapy to help with the itching and dryness of hand eczema. Consider getting evaluated by a Board-certified Dermatologist today.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. , Dermatologist with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates PC, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018. 1-901-753-0168 05/04/2023