What is Hand Fungus?
Table Of Content:
Hand Fungus, medically known as Tinea Manuum is a skin condition caused by certain species of fungi called Dermatophytes.
Dermatophytes have Keratinases, a unique enzyme which makes them capable of digesting the protein present in human skin. Once digested, the fungus sets itself on the skin surface leading to infection.
Hand Fungus Symptoms
Hand Fungus or Tinea Manuum starts off with an itchy rash on the hands and palms. Sometimes it may involve the fingers as well. Given below are some of the symptoms of the rash:
- Frequent dry peeling of skin
- Ringworms caused by Zoophilic/Geophilic fungi
- Tiny oozing blisters on the fingers and palm
- Burning sensation on the affected skin accompanied with insatiable itchy feeling
- Discolored skin
- Scaly or cracked skin
- Redness and inflammation of the infected area
Diagnosis of Hand Fungus
Diagnosis for Hand Fungus depends on the extent of the infection. The diagnostic processes involve the following:
- Skin scrapings
- Fungal cultures
Hand Fungus Causes
Given below are the major causes that lead to fungal hand infections:
- T.rubrum (or Trichophyton rubrum) – responsible for most of the cases of fungal skin infections in humans
- Epidermophyton floccosum
- Trichophyton interdigitale
The following are some of the other fungi species that transmits through skin contact with animals (Zoophilic fungi) and inanimate objects contaminated soil (Geophilic fungi):
- Microsporum Canis – from pets (cats or dogs)
- Microsporum gypseum – from contaminated soil
- Trichophyton verrucosum – from livestock (cattle, fowl)
Tinea Nigra is a geophilic mold which causes a fungal infection on the hands. It also causes skin infection of the feet and sole accompanied by black/brown patches.
Who are at risk?
Given below are conditions that promote skin infections and fungal growth:
- Dermatophyte infection pre-existing in the body
- Close contact with individuals suffering from fungal infection
- People suffering from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and other skin conditions
- Children unrestricted contact with pets
- Farmworkers that handle cattle and soil
- Gardeners due to unhindered contact with soil and plant litter
Tips to prevent Hand Fungus
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Proper drying of the skin after bath
- Avoid sharing of personal effects like towels, manicure sets, etc.
- Regular changing of bed sheets, clothes and socks
- Keeping the blood sugar levels at a manageable level in cases of diabetes
- Keep nails trimmed and clean
- Strongly recommended running the full course of the medication prescribed by the physician
- Advised not to walk barefoot on soil
- Keep hands clean by washing them regularly
- Recommended to use gloves while gardening and touching animals
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to strengthen the immunity system
Tips to minimize spreading of the infection
- Complete drying of the infected area to minimize spread of the fungal agent
- Avoid sharing of manicure sets and nail clippers
- Using gloves is strongly recommended to keep the spreading of the fungus to a minimum
Home remedies for treating Hand Fungus
- Tea tree oil: Loaded with anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, it is a home remedy for treating hand fungus. It is advised to pour a few drops of tea tree oil in a tub filled with lukewarm water and soak in the infected hands. Tea tree oil provides relief from irritation and discomfort associated with hand fungus.
- Hydrogen peroxide: It is an effective way to kill fungal agents in the skin. Side effects include dry skin. Apply moisturizers after application of Hydrogen Peroxide treatment.
- Apple cider or plain white vinegar: Fungal infection treated by soaking the affected vinegar solution. It also eases the itchy feeling felt in cases of fungal infection on the hand.
- Vitamin B complex: It is ideal for the healthy and glowing skin. Consumption of Vitamin B complex supplements or maintaining a diet rich in this nutrient. It is advised to consult a physician before taking vitamin supplements. Unrestricted consumption of vitamin B complex could result in adverse side effects.
- Cat’s claw: Its antifungal properties act as an effective home remedy for fungal infection on the hand. It is advised to consult with a medical practitioner before taking this alternative medication. It is known to interact with other prescription and OTC medications.
- Probiotics: Consumption of probiotic drinks that contain lactobacillus bacteria maintains healthy skin and reduces chances of contracting infections.
- Fish oil: Diet rich in fish or taking fish oil supplements is beneficial in cases of hand fungus. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes symptoms of hand fungus to a great extent.
- Grapefruit seed extract: It is an effective home remedy that has immunity boosting and antifungal properties that aids in the prevention of hand fungus.
- Sulfur: Apply of medicated sulfur containing ointments in the affected area.
- Homemade cream: Mix ½ cup baking soda, three tsp vinegar and make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and reapply as long as the infection subsides. Refrigeration of the paste is a must. It is recommended to be extra careful and not to contaminate the mixture by dipping the applicator in the mix.
Hand Fungus Pictures
Hand Fungus Treatment
Medicated treatment for fungal infection consists of a course that spans over 4 – 6 weeks. The following topical and oral medications are the most commonly used:
- Gels and Ointments (Topical antifungals): Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, Butenafine or Econazole, Ciclopirox, etc
- Capsules and Tablets (Oral antifungals): Fluconazole, Terbinafine, Griseofulvin or Itraconazole