Fungal skin infections are common in Singapore due to warm and humid climate. They can mimic other skin conditions therefore are easily misdiagnosed and mistreated.

Fungal skin infections can potentially cause a lot of frustrations and embarrassment due to their appearance. These are the common fungal skin infections in Singapore.

1. Ringworm

Ringworm is the most common fungal skin infection. They can affect any parts of your body. Common areas include groin area, neck and abdomen.

All superficial fungal skin infection are commonly known as ringworm. Scientifically, they are known as tinea corporis (body), tinea cruris (groin) and tinea capitis (scalp). They appear as red and scaly rounded patches with well defined borders on the skin. Although being called ringworm, they are not worms!


2. Pityriasis versicolour

Pityriasis versicolour, or commonly known as white spot, is a superficial fungal infection of the skin. It is also known as Panau.

They often appear as white patches on the covered sweaty area such as neck, back and shoulders. They usually affect adults without any symptoms. They can sometimes be itchy and scaly looking. They are usually aggravated by excessive sweating.


3. Athlete’s foot


Historically, this condition always affects the athletes who wear shoes all the time. It is scientifically known as tinea pedis. It causes itchy rashes on the soles and toewebs. It can also affect the toenails sometimes. The skin over affected area becomes very irritated and scaly and may peel when one keeps scratching it.


4. Candidiasis


Candidiasis is a yeast infection. It often affects moist areas such as groins and armpits. It can also infect the genital area.

Candidiasis usually appears as itchy red patches or spots.




How do I treat fungal skin infections?

Fungal skin infections can be treated. However, possibility of recurrence is high if the treatment is not optimal.

Topical anti-fungal cream is the most common treatment. A combination of anti-fungal and mild steroid cream is usually given to treat fungal skin infection and to reduce itch and discomfort. It has to be used for a prolonged duration depending on the severity of the infection.

It is important to continue applying the cream for at least 7 days after the rash has disappeared. A lot of patients make a mistake by stopping treatment prematurely. If treatment is not optimal, chances of recurrence are high.

Sometimes, oral anti-fungal medication may be required if the infection is severe or affects large areas.


If you suspect you have fungal skin infections, consult a doctor to get assessed and treated properly. Poorly and inadequately treated fungal skin infections may cause scarring and hyperpigmentation, and they will keep coming back to haunt you!

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