Skin fungal infection

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I don't want to gross anyone one out but I need some help. I have a rash on both of my underarms. The doctor says it is a fungal infection. I thought it was going away but it keeps coming back. I have been on a prescription cream for two weeks. It was almost gone and it came back again. I am eating lots of yogurt and have put plain yogurt on my underarms. I have also put vinegar on the rash.

I think the prescription cream is just keeping the area moist. There is a thick "scab" on one of my underarms. So I sort of feel like the medicine is not getting to the skin.
I usually use a powder that is has a base of corn starch. I just thought that maybe corn starch isn't that good when dealing with a fungal infection. So for the last few days I've stopped using the corn starch.

I don't know if I should use my deoderant before I apply anything or after.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Loretta

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Loretta , I feel that you have tinea also known as Ringworm. See the information in this site:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001439.htm

Any over the counter medication for "athletes foot" would suffice.

Some home remedies:
Spray apple cider vinegar, twice daily
Potassium Iodide ( SSKI ) or Lugol solution, rub twice daily
black walnut tincture, twice daily
Essential oil: 1 or 2 drops of any of these:
Tea tree oil
Lavender oil
Oregano oil
Sieve some Cornmeal, and dust the powder in the affected area to maintain it dry. Soon the fungus will not have any Oxygen and will disappear.

Cristina

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Cristina,

Thank you so much. i tried the oregano oil but it really burned. I stopped the prescription med and it seems to be drying up better.

Thanks, Loretta

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

My niece had this same exact problem. Under her arm pits, and under her breasts. She is diabetic, and the Dr said that contributed to it.

Are you diabetic, by any chance?

Anyway, it was recommended she use Johnson and Johnson baby lotion, and she says it works every time she starts getting a rash.

Wash well, dry really well, and apply the baby lotion. Don't use deodorant until it is cleared up.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Polly, thank you so much. I am diabetic. I really think that using the corn starch was not a great idea. I think the fungus fed on it. I am now using an acne medication to dry it up and it's working very well. After quite a long while it is finally clearing up.

Thanks, Loretta

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Fungus feeds on moisture too. Think about mold and how heat and moisture only make it worse.

Try some Olive Leaf Extract taken orally. It's supposed to help with overall fungi in our bodies. You can find it at Walmart and it's cheap, like $4 for 60 or 90 capsules. Since you're diabetic, you might want to add it to your daily routine permanently to prevent fungal infections. I'm diabetic too and prone to the infections as well--not your skin infection, but nail fungus and yeast. In fact, I developed a yeast mass in my kidney and had to have surgery to remove it. It was causing tremendous pain (constant inflammation) as well as kidney infections. Since taking the olive leaf extract and changing my diet, my nail fungus has cleared up and no more yeast.

BTW, when I was hunting for the Olive Leaf Extract at Walmart, I almost gave up. They were hiding it on the bottom shelf way over in the right corner of the vitamins aisle, and who ever looks there?? LOL

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Thanks for that info. I think I have that. I picked some up at Vitamin World. I've had these before but not as bad as this. I actually think it was because it was very hot at work. It's finally clearing up with the acne medicine. Makes sense since it is drying it up.

I had no idea that you could have a yeast infection in the kidney. Good to know you have turned that around. I will find that Olive Leaf Extract.

Thanks, Loretta

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I didn't realize you could get yeast in the kidneys either. I have kidney stones and kept infections all the time. I had a very large stone that couldn't pass and was blocking my kidney, so we did lithotripsy to bust it up. That didn't work; the fragments wouldn't pass and I was in constant pain, constant infection. Had to be hospitalized because the infection wouldn't go away. They did exploratory surgery to see what the problem was and found the yeast mass. The next day, the urologist did the surgery to remove it.

In recovery, the nurse brought this ziplock baggie in to me. She said I had asked the doctor to save it for me because I wanted to see it. I didn't remember saying that; must have been some good drugs. LOL In the baggie was this stuff that reminded me of chicken fat. Eeeeewww, I almost barfed. Really wish I hadn't seen it. LOL But it is kinda interesting to know what they take out of ya.

I don't think Olive Leaf Extract "cures" anything. I think it's like Cranberry Juice or Pills; it's "prevents" the problem from beginning in the first place.

Also, remember Vitamin C is your friend. It's a big immune booster that helps us fight anything that comes our way. My doc has me on 1000 mg a day (500 in the a.m., 500 in the p.m.).

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Loretta, you're welcome. My niece swears by the J & J baby lotion, and says she has never had a rash under her breasts or arm pits since she's been using it, and she used to get it all the time.

I guess it makes sense as that's what keeps babies from getting rashes in wet diapers.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Once when I had a fungal infection my Dr gave me Nystatin. It's a powder, so it doesn't add moisture to the area. It worked extremely well for me. Cleared the problem up very quickly (in days). She also gave me a number of refills in case I need it again in the future. Perhaps you could ask your Dr if Nystatin might be appropriate for you. Worth a try.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Dream of Spring, I read about that powder. Thanks for telling me about your experience. I see the doctor next week and I am going to ask him. This was all clearing up since I could keep them nice and powdered over the weekend. This morning I used the Rx cream and by the time I got to work they were burning. This is very discouraging.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

elsie,

Definitely ask if you can try Nystatin. Before I applied the powder, my skin was raw and painful yet stilled itched terribly. The powder did not hurt or burn. In fact, I found it rather soothing. The one downside is that you have to apply it 4x day, but I found it to be well worth the trouble as it quickly cleared up my problem. Hope it works well for you, too.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I was quite surprised when my doctor sent the RX to my pharmacy after I emailed him. So I will start on it when I get home from work. Thanks again for suggesting it.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Wow, that was fast. I wish I had a Dr that used email w/patients.
You are very welcome. Hope it helps. If not, I noticed that it does come in different strengths, so we could compare strengths. I don't have my bottle with me right now though.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

The Rx was not at the pharmacy. By the time I could call the office they had closed. So I guess I will email him again. It was just too easy wasn't it?

I think more and more doctors are using computers - it sure makes a huge difference when all you want is a med.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I once had a situation where the Dr office insisted they faxed the script and the pharmacy insisted they didn't get it. Both refused to budge for a day or so but did finally get it straightened out.

For med refills, I have to call and talk to a recorder. That's so 2001.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I stopped at the doctors office on the way home today and after a lot of pressure from me I was told the doctor was sending it to the pharmacy. I had another Rx to fill and they filled it within minutes. I waited about 30 minutes, call the drs office and they were closed. They aren't closed but they turn the phones off. The pharmacy clerk called them up and within minutes I had the Rx. A 30 gram tube of cream to apply to both underarms twice a day for 30 days. And I'm bad with math?

I just put the Nystatin cream on and it feels a little better. Suffice to say I am miserable this afternoon.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

My Nystatin is a powder. I guess for some reason your Dr thinks a cream is more appropriate to your situation, but I like the powder. I like that it's dry and thus doesn't have moisture to add to the problem. Also, it's not messy. Anyhow, I hope the cream works for you. Same active ingredient.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Dream of Spring, I thought I was just going to cry my eyes out this morning. I ended up putting yogurt on my underarms and they felt wonderful. Not so good after my shower. This afternoon after using the cream they feel much better. They look awful. I asked the pharmacist about the powder and he said it's never used on underarms because it doesn't stick. I sure hope by the time I wake up tomorrow I feel much better.

I ended up with ice packs last night - talk about chilling. I wish I had thought about the yogurt last night.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Elsie, at least try the baby lotion on a small area. I was telling my niece about this, and she said the Nystatin only made her's worse. She said get only the J and J brand.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

PollyK, right now I don't have a car. When I get it back I guess I will pick up some baby lotion and try it. I have been putting yogurt on them and it is so soothing. I have a doctors appointment next week so I will ask him if I should be doing something else.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Know anyone in the area with a baby? LOL.

Seriously I wish you luck with getting rid of that. Rashes can be so uncomfortable, especially in the summer.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

elsie,

If my suggestion has led to even greater discomfort for you, I apologize. For what it's worth, I truly meant well. I guess this dramatizes the fact that there are just so many variables involved when trying to compare medical problems, even those which seem relatively simple; even when we are certain two conditions are the same. Differences in individuals, differences in underlying pathogens at the root of the problem, differences in formulation, and other differences beyond our imaginations obviously contribute to differing results.

The Nystatin (powder) worked so well for me. I had tried a number of other things including several creams, none of which had helped. The intensity of the itch was such that I would scratch myself so raw that I could not allow anything to touch my skin for a while afterward. The Nystatin powder was soothing. It gave me immediate relief from itching and cleared up my problem very quickly. Because it had worked so well for me, I was eager to recommend it for you, eager to see you get the same relief. I'm sorry that it didn't work out that way.

I can't say if it made any difference, but I was concerned from the moment you indicated that you had gotten the cream. The creams I used were different products entirely, so I can't make a real comparison, but I recall that for me creams seemed to aggravate the problem. I felt it was due to the moisture they contained but don't know for sure. For me the powder was amazingly soothing.

When I 1st got home and found that my Dr had given me a powder, I was disappointed. My problem was on a vertical surface, on the relatively flat skin on my tummy. Logically, it seemed like a powder wouldn't stick, like it would just fall off, but in reality the powder 'stuck' much better than I had expected, I guess perhaps due to the slight moisture of the skin where the rash was.

Anyhow, I'm very sorry that it didn't work for you. In reading your post it occurred to me that trying so many different things back to back may not be such a good idea, although I totally understand why you would do so. You are caught in this situation in which you need immediate relief from the discomfort. You desperately need to apply the right thing and yet have no way of knowing what that might be.

It also seems possible that one or more of the things prescribed might work if used consistently for a few days. It's possible that you may be rejecting 'solutions' too quickly before they have the chance to work - but, again, I totally understand why you would do that. It's the same problem as described above. You need to apply the right solution ASAP to relieve your pain and yet you have no way of knowing which is the right solution.

I truly feel for your pain and hope you find the right solution very, very soon.

----------------------

One other possible 'solution' comes to mind. Now especially in view of my prior failure, I'm not suggesting that you try this, I'm just throwing it out there. Since you mentioned that yogurt helps to ease your pain that made me think of some of the products available OTC for 'feminine' yeast issues. These are also anti-fungal products. Most if not all of them were prescription products at one time. Some work very quickly. I think there is one that you only apply 1x day for 3 days and another that only requires a single application. Some of these products come in a cream form. I have used the creams for fungal infections elsewhere on my body usually with good results. For me, it has never caused any harm when I've used it this way. It either works or doesn't. At one point I mentioned to my Dr that I was using the product this way, and he was ok with it. Again, just throwing it out there for consideration - even though at this point I should probably just bow out.

Again, my best to you whatever you decide to go with. Wishing you a solution very soon.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Dream of Spring, please no need to apologize. I think the powder might work much better than the cream. I think the cream helps it to spread. I have been using a prescription cream since May and it worked but the rash just continued to return and I think it has to do with moisture. I have used the over the counter yeast meds - my doctor suggested that years ago.

I think part of the reason the yogurt helps is that it is cool. I tried the baby lotion last night and woke up so itchy. It feels good right after I apply it. Again I think it's the moisture issue. I picked up an athlete's foot remedy that is a cream that turns into a powder. It seems to be drying up but it's so itchy.

I just applied witch hazel compresses and that helps relieve the itching. I'm going to attempt to make some dress shield type things that will hopefully keep my underarms dry. If they don't work I'm going to order some online.

Thank you for all of your suggestions. I really appreciate it. I see my md on Tuesday so hopefully when he sees it he will know what to do.

Thanks, Loretta

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

The rash has almost gone away. I started using Lamisil Defense. It is a cream that turns to a powder so it has been keeping the area dryer than it has been. According to the doctor I should use the cream for another month. I guess that is to get rid of the infection. Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong - stopping the meds too soon. I hope this works.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions.

Loretta

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks for letting us know your very good news and what worked. I'm so happy to hear that you are finally getting relief. I hope things will continue to go well.

It is important with any infection to continue treatment for the period of time specified by the Dr. The organisms that cause the infection often linger well after symptoms have begun to improve. If you stop treatment when you feel better, those organisms will just multiply once more causing the symptoms to return. Even though it's difficult to continue with treatment when you think you are all better, you are doing the right thing.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Good news indeed!

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