Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lymphedema and Preventing Fungal Infections

Lymphedema and Preventing Fungal Infections

Not every infection we get as lymphedema patient is due to a bacterial "invasion."

We can also very quickly come down with a fungal infection.  Due to the immunocompromised condition of the lymphedema limb, this fungus may literally explode over the limb before we even know what hit us.

It is critical that we know:

How to Prevent Fungal Infections

Getting rid of a fungal infection is not all that difficult. Your doctor may decide to scrape a small amount of the irritated skin or clip off a piece of hair or nail and look at it under a microscope. Once your doctor knows what kind of infection you have, there are special antifungal creams and shampoos that can help to get rid of it. Sometimes the doctor will prescribe a medicine to take by mouth for many weeks. Make sure you take the medicine for as long as the doctor tells you.
Maybe fungal infections can't be avoided altogether, but there are some ways you can help yourself ward them off.
Walk away from athlete's foot by following these simple steps:
Wash your feet everyday.
Dry your feet completely, especially between your toes.
Wear sandals or shower shoes when walking around in locker rooms, public pools, and public showers.
Wear clean socks and if they get wet or damp, be sure to change them as soon as you can. Use a powder (talcum or antifungal) on your feet to help reduce perspiration.
You may love to play sports and not be able to avoid jock itch, but you can help to keep it away when you:
Wear clean, cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants.
Keep your groin area clean and dry.
Yeast infections can be avoided, too, if you:
Don't hang out in wet swimsuits; change as soon as possible. Wear clean, cotton underpants.
The truth is there may always be a “fungus among us,” but we can make it a lot tougher for them to invade and grow!
Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD Date reviewed: November 2000
Acknowledgment and Thanks Kids Health What are the different types of fungal infection?
When it comes to human body, the term fungus refers to a type of germ that lives on all of us. This germ harmless most of the time, can cause problems occasionally. This is called a fungal infection. Persistent fungal infections may be indicators of an imbalance in the body's microflora (the small, usually bacterial, inhabitants of gut,skin surfaces and mucous membranes).
1. Use the medicine completely and as recommended. The fungus may till be present long after it is no longer visible as a rash.
2. Keep feet clean, cool and dry. Change socks. Wear shoes that “breathe” like leather, rather than plastic.
3. Make sure shoes fit correctly and are not too tight.
4. Apply an anti-fungal cream, like Lotrimin or Lamisil, or a prescription antifungal cream to the bottom of the feet, and on the nails, about twice a week. This may help prevent early re-growth of the fungus. In some cases, an oral medication may be prescribed.
5. Avoid walking barefoot, especially in bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, on carpeting, and in public bathing areas. Wear slippers or stand on a towel or piece of paper.
6. Keep toenails short, cut straight across and avoid ingrown nails. Do not use the same clippers on abnormal nails and normal nails.
7. Family members and close personal contacts should treat any fungus infections they may have to avoid trading back and forth.
8. Apply an anti-fungal powder, like Zeasorb-AF to the shoes every day, to keep spores from growing.
9. Discard old shoes, boots, slippers and sneakers. Do not share footwear with others.
10.If one has had a body fungus, in the groin or elsewhere on the skin, consider using an anti-dandruff shampoo, like Selsun Blue on this area twice a month. Lather up and leave it on the skin for about five minutes, then wash off completely. In some cases a preventive medication may be prescribed.

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