I've had a disseminated fungus infection (skin, nail beds, mucous memb's, bladder, maybe more) for over 3 months now, starting w/ what I think was _Trichophyton rubrum_, plus another genus (at least) that my biologist husband suspects is Malassezia & now (after haphazard Tx's) a bloom of good ol' Candida. =sigh= (No, I'm not diabetic or immunocompromised: we think what predisposed me to this mess was a long course of Lamictal during which time I had numerous tongue ulcers.) I'm writing w/ a kind of complex Q about Candida. Two dermatologists (hospital derm clinic) have Rx-ed topical steroids (0.05% fluocinonide & 0.025% fluocinolone acetonide). These ointments (skin) & gels (mouth) do improve my Sx's, but seem to encourage the growth of the fungus. Most strikingly, the first time I put the topical steroid ointment all over my face (as instructed), the Candida appeared to spread, within 2 min., from the area around my mouth, to all over my face. Ahh...I bet your eyebrows shot up, & you're thinking, "Spread that far in *2 minutes*!" Well, I don't mean spread as in actually *grew*, but rather spread as in extended what I call its "sheath." That SHEATH is the topic of my question. I have looked around the Web, but have failed to find a discussion of what I've observed in my own experience of a Candida infection, which is that large areas of my skin--so far, all of my legs, my hands, my distal forearms stopping about midway up, & since applying the steroid ointment, all of my face--are covered w/ a semi-translucent, pale, pearlescent sheath, or film, that's of a different texture than my own skin--softer, more velvety, & slightly doughy/gummy in feel. It's easy to tell it's not my skin, not only because of the differences I've already mentioned, but because the shorter, finer hairs are trapped under it, & because it repels creams/gels/ointments. In other words, it seems to be a protective barrier. In some places, like on my upper lip, it's a pretty scary one, too, because it has thickened, day by day, to the point where I cannot tell what's going on underneath it.
---> What can you tell me about this sheath or film? Is it possible that the steroid ointment encouraged its growth? Is there anything I can do to discourage it? Is there anywhere on the Web I could go to read about this phenomenon?
---> I noticed that the steroid gel, when used on an ulcer in my mouth, seemed to precipitate an episode in which my throat got sore & "thick" & finally I coughed up a number of very white deposits, like little chunks from what had been a flat sheet of stuff about 2 mm. thick that was stuck to my throat. Was that what they call a "pseudomembrane"? Is it at all possible that the steroid gel encouraged its formation?
--> I know this is a lot of questions I could as well ask the clinic dermatologists, but (1) they say the steroids will make me well, because everything that's happened to me is some kind of allergic/hypersensitive overreaction, w/ the fungus as purely a superinfective sideshow (they don't have me on any antifungals, local or systemic); and (2) they can't see what I'm talking about with the sheath-film on my skin, despite the fact that my friends say I look so white as to be positively unearthly, especially my hands, which look "dead" or "vampiric" to my friends, w/ the white-white skin & prominent blue veins. I'm afraid it doesn't help much that I'm a natural blonde, so the doctors expect me to be pale. But I'm a Scandinavian blonde: my skin color is a light golden-tan, and I tan easily. I'm not one of those pale blondes at all. But now I look like a ghost!!! Well anyway... You could help with any info about this film/sheath thing.
--> Thanks, Dr. Rockoff. I've enjoyed reading your answers to other fungus-related questions. =smile=
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