Case scenario

Jordan, a young man in his early 20s, has come to ask what he can use for an itchy rash between his toes. The rash started about 1 week ago. He thinks it may be athlete’s foot. On inspection, you notice that the skin area between his fourth and fifth toes looks flaky. You also notice that he is wearing trainers. Jordan tells you that he wears trainers most of the time as he plays basketball in a local competition and trains often with his friends.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Identify some tinea infections treatable with over-the-counter preparations including tinea corporis, tinea cruris and tinea pedis
  • Discuss topical treatment options for tinea infections
  • Summarise counselling points when treating tinea infections with over-the-counter products
  • Recognise when referral to a doctor is necessary.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.5

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Introduction

Fungal infections of the skin are common in the community. They occur in temperate and tropical climates and thrive in hot and humid conditions.

While fungal infections of the skin such as tinea are not life threatening, they can cause considerable discomfort. Therefore, it’s important for pharmacists to recognise the symptoms of tinea, advise patients correctly on treatment and know when to refer to a doctor. In this article, the features of topical treatment and prevention of tinea will be described.

What are fungal infections?

Fungi are parasites that live off living or dead organic matter. Fungal infections are also known as mycoses. Fungi are classified according to their appearance on m

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