National skin care week aims to improve awareness of fungal infections

Poor awareness and poor patient compliance are leading reasons for the high incidence and frequent relapse of skin diseases in China, doctors said.

Skin diseases caused by fungal infection are common among the population, and many have poor awareness on the prevention and treatment of these conditions, medical experts said as China Skin Care Week kicks off. 

Targeting skin diseases caused by fungal infections, skin care week this year will launch online programs to promote the public education of skin disease prevention and control, doctors said.

Globally, the incidence of fungi-infected skin is 20 to 25 percent. But in south China, for example, the incidence of athlete’s foot is 50 to 60 percent, about 84 percent of whom suffer outbreaks at least twice a year.

Such diseases are highly contagious and are spread in many ways, not only between humans but also between humans and animals. 

“We've seen a rise in fungal skin diseases related with raising pets,” said Dr Zhang Jianzhong, director of dermatology from Peking University People’s Hospital. “Sharing slippers and towels in public venues like swimming pools and gyms can also spread skin diseases.”

Doctors said that poor awareness and poor patient compliance are leading reasons for the high incidence and frequent relapse of fungal infections in China, which not only cause embarrassment for patients but can also bring about more serious complications.

“Most patients just buy medication by themselves, with less than one third visiting the hospital," said Dr Zheng Jie from Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital.

The doctor added that many patients also stop taking medicine as soon as the visible symptoms disappear, which doesn't fully rid the site of infection.

This kind of valuable information is what doctors hope the public can learn over skin care week. "Strictly following the doctor's orders is extremely important for the full recovery of skin diseases," the doctor added.


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