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Avatar universal

Fungal infection that won't go away

HI there,

I am asking on behalf of my mother, who is 61 years old.

Back in February, she developed what appears to be a fungal infection (for the first time). She was given medicine but changed nothing else (was not told to - so she kept eating sweets etc.), and it never got any better, if anything it got worse. Three months ago, she saw a nutritionist and went on a specialist diet that has cut out all sugar, carbs, etc. She's also on supplements and probiotics etc. It is very strict, so she's lost a lot of weight and being quite short, she went quickly from nearly overnight to nearly underweight (but is still currently healthy - lost 10kg).

She got tested for allergies in case it was that but over 20+ things turned out negative.

She did a fungal test on her lips recently which showed that the spores were 'rare' compared to having proliferated before, but that was the only place she tested. She was feeling better but said that last night, it all reappeared everywhere, all over her face, body, even tongue. It seems to come and go really quickly in that sense, including the itching. My mom says that usually at first it looks like bites and the skin looks white/yellow. Lighter than the normal skin colour.

It's all making her very stressed which obviously doesn't help - it also means she isn't sleeping well. I get emails at 4 am sometimes. I've suggested some herbal sleeping pills to help.

She has an antifungal cream (Butenafine) which seems to do nothing, and she also did a 10 day course of medicine (Itraconazole) a couple weeks ago and obviously that's done nothing as well. She did a couple courses of similar medicine a few months ago as well which obviously appear to not have done anything either. She's been to a couple allergists as well as several dermatologists. Early Sept will mark six months with no luck.  She's coming to visit me in Oct and that's stressing her out even more as she is scared of giving this to me and it being complicated food-wise in restaurants and on the plane (overnight flight). Is it contagious?

She's going to travel to a different town to see yet another dermatologist on Tuesday to try to solve this.

What is she doing wrong that she can fix to clear this once and for all? Any ideas at all?

Thanks for the help!
7 Responses
4851940 tn?1515694593
She probably needs to be on the Itraconazole for a few months as well as using an antifungal spray or cream.  There is Dactaryl oral gel for fungus in the mouth that can be purchased without a prescription.  Nystatin oral drops are only on prescription in the UK.

It would be a good idea for her to have her blood checked for any signs of glucose intolerance or diabetes.  If her sugar levels are elevated that is causing the fungal problem, her doctor may consider prescribing Metformin SR (slow release).  

Get her to buy Epsom Salts and put about 2 or 3 cupfuls into the bath water and soak in this.  She will need to put a few drops of baby oil or coconut oil, I sometimes put in a few drops of Ttree oil.  You need the oil because Epsom Salts is quite drying. It does neutralise the pH level of the skin and also contains magnesium which is absorbed through the skin.  A good thing.

Tell your mum not to use any soaps, bath or shower gels.  This will irritate the skin even more.  The doctor can prescribe a bath lotion called Dermol 600 that is poured into the bath.  This is an antimicrobial.  She may also benefit from using a moisturising antibacterial emollient to wash herself with.

Do bear in mind that if your mom is every put on antibiotics for an infection, she should also be given an antifungal as a precaution.  Antibiotics encourage yeast growth.

Tell your mum also to wear cotton clothing, avoiding manmade fabrics.  Cotton will help the skin to breathe.

Do remember that fungal infections can take a long time to heal.

If you are well and healthy you should be fine.  But avoid sharing towels, cups and cutlery.

The dermatologist should do a skin swab to identify the fungus/bacteria to be able to treat it effectively.
4851940 tn?1515694593
Tell your mum also to eat more natural plain yogurt, she can add her soft fruit to the yogurt.

If she likes sauerkraut cabbage, that is said to be good against fungal problems.  

On one other forum someone suggested cider vinegar with mother.  I bought some from Amazon and am drinking a tablespoonful mixed in a mug of water twice a day.  It is supposed to be good for arthritic problems, but I have not felt any benefit with regard to that.  It is a very refreshing drink though.

Virgin coconut oil has antifungal, anti viral and antibacterial properties.  You can cook, bake with it as well as use it on the skin and eat it off the spoon.

Avatar universal
Thanks!

In terms of it being contagious, what about stuff like using the same toilet seat, hugs, etc.?
4851940 tn?1515694593
You should be fine.
Avatar universal
Thanks again! I've ordered the dermol product, but would an antifungal shampoo be worthwhile as well?
Avatar universal
(an antifungal shampoo to be used as a shower gel effectively, I mean)
4851940 tn?1515694593
If your mom has it in the scalp and if it is itching with or without flakes of thick skin.

The shampoo that I know about is Nizoral.  If you ask the pharmacist, I am sure he will advise you.

It seems that you mom needs to have long term antifungal by mouth as well as the treating the skin and changing the diet.

Has she hot any symptoms of diabetes?  It may be worth checking out.
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