Updated: May 16
Whether it’s the dry or wet season in the Philippines, one thing’s for sure: it’s always humid! High humidity and hot temperatures can be a breeding ground for fungal skin infections. That’s why it’s common for people living in the tropics to have skin conditions caused by bacteria that thrive in this kind of climate.
Below is a list of four of the most common ones:
Commonly referred to as “ingrown hairs,” folliculitis is an inflamed hair follicle. This happens when pores are clogged by oil, dirt, and sweat, impeding proper hair growth in the shaft. Most people experience this when their hairs grow back after shaving, waxing, or plucking.
Folliculitis varies in size and manifestation, as we have different hair types and textures on our bodies. For instance, coarse and curly hairs are more prone to severe folliculitis characterized by a red pimple-like bump on the affected area. They may be tender to the touch, and in some cases, filled with pus.
In cases like these, it’s important to wear loose and comfortable clothing on the affected area to ease discomfort and prevent it from getting worse. Antibiotic creams may be prescribed by your doctor to manage the swelling and pain.
The skin condition ringworm doesn’t have anything to do with worms per se--rather, it’s a fungal infection that leaves a circular-shaped lesion that resembles a worm. The infection manifests in patches and can be very itchy.
It can also manifest in many areas, such as the scalp, groin, and feet (athlete’s foot). People usually get this infection from spores in the soil, or other infected humans and animals.
Since the severity of the ringworm varies on the area of the body it manifests in, the treatment also varies. Milder cases may be treated with an antifungal cream, while extreme cases need an oral prescription to manage and treat the infection.
3. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a subtype of ringworm infection and is probably its most common manifestation. This occurs in children and adults who often get sweaty feet when wearing socks or enclosed shoes for long periods. The fungus also thrives in warm and moist conditions, making swimming pools and showers the perfect breeding ground for this fungi.
You may first notice that you have an athlete’s foot if your feet often get itchy after removing socks, or you have itchy scaly patches of skin in between your toes.
Similar to previous skin conditions in this list, a doctor will have to assess the treatment plan for this in the form of an OTC anti-fungal cream or prescription-grade oral medication.
Scabies is an itchy skin infestation caused by mites. These microscopic creatures burrow themselves into the upper layer of the skin, which causes the itching sensation. The scabies mites often leave a burrowing trail, which could show up as red itchy spots on the skin. In some cases, they lay eggs there, causing the condition to become severe. Itching is also usually worse at night.
This skin condition is incredibly contagious and can be spread through prolonged contact with those who already have it. As such, if you discover that you have scabies, treatment is usually advised for everyone in the family.
Scabies is readily treatable through topical medication, but the infected person may still feel itchiness for weeks afterward. It’s best to be in touch with your doctor to update them of your condition after treatment has started.
Seek treatment when you need it
If you notice symptoms of any of the skin conditions listed above, it’s time to consult a doctor. You can conveniently contact a licensed physician on the Doctor Anywhere app. Don’t ignore the discomfort. Download the DA app today.