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Health Tip: Prevent Recurrence of a Fungal Infection

(HealthDay News) -- A fungal infection most commonly develops on the feet, nails, groin and hands. Effective treatment is needed to prevent recurrence.

When a fungal infection recurs, it is typically because the immune system doesn't recognize and attack the germ as foreign to the body, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says.

The AOCD suggests:

  • Use antifungal medicine completely, and don't stop it once the infection seems to disappear. It may still be present.
  • Keep feet clean, cool and dry by changing socks and wearing shoes that "breathe."
  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Apply an antifungal cream, such as Lotrimin or Lamisil, to the bottom of the feet and on the nails. In some cases, an oral medication may be prescribed.
  • Do not walk barefoot, especially in bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, on carpeting and in public bathing areas.
  • Keep toenails short and cut straight across. Avoid ingrown nails.
  • Treat any fungal infection promptly to prevent its spread to close contacts.
  • Apply an antifungal powder to the shoes daily.
  • Throw out old shoes, boots, slippers and sneakers.
  • Do not share footwear with others.
  • Use antifungal soap and shampoo regularly if you have a fungal skin infection.

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