The Cost of Being Candid(a)

 Chad and I sat around David and Sarah’s* breakfast bar talking about our new product COMPEL and how the scientific testing was coming along.  We shared images of the agar plates that showed how our effective formula was keeping skin healthy and cleaning wrestling mats and equipment.  Their two youngest children chased each other around the couch while we chatted, darting over to grab their mom’s leg and ask for a snack.  Sarah apologized for the interruption and reached into the pantry for the requested itemWe chatted for a couple seconds more when she suddenly asked the kids how many of those snacks they’d already had.  The oldest murmured something neither of us understood and off they went for another lap around the living roomAs I tried not to encourage them by laughing out loud, I was reminded of how, when they were young, my children always knew to ask for the most restricted snack when I was busy talking and more likely to agree to something without my normal objections.  Kids must be born with that 6th sense. 

David and Sarah are a fantastic couple-super busy with businesses, raising young children, and heavily involved in the wrestling community.  They were impressed by the results and hesitantly hopeful.  That’s when Sarah shared their current regimen for when someone in the family had ringworm that topical treatment just couldn’t kick.  “Ethan* has started to avoid taking the medicine because he knows he’ll have to do a blood draw and he hates needles.”  I asked for clarification.  “Well,” she explained, “it’s an oral medication that the doctor prescribes, but the side effects require liver panels to make sure function hasn’t decreased.  It is good at preventing ringworm while we’re taking it, but when we finish the course, it comes right back.  Then the kids just spread it back and forth.”  She added that the oral antifungal prescription was in addition to the topical cream that they apply in an effort to get rid of the stubborn skin infection. I was quietly scribbling down every word, trying to capture the frustration and exasperation in her voice.   
Let me make something very clear:  This family is strong.  David and Sarah aren’t the type to ask for help and are always the first to step up before anyone even asks for volunteers.  They are generous and serve wholeheartedly no matter the impact upon their already tight schedule.  Sarah wasn’t complaining.  She was simply describing the only option for keeping her kids healthy and her family involved in wrestling.  

began to research treatment options for chronic ringworm, folliculitis, and impetigo.  It is not a topic blossoming with hope.
  
antifungal therapy is often fraught with numerous clinical challenges including high relapse rates and recurrences.” Perspect Clin Res (picronline.org) 
 
The estimated yearly direct health care costs of fungal diseases exceed $7.2 billion.” Public Awareness of Invasive Fungal Diseases — United States, 2019 | MMWR (cdc.gov) 
 
  It is generally thought that antibiotic therapy is suppressive in nature, and frequent recurrences are noted after antibiotic therapy is discontinued. Topical medicines are considered ineffective.” Folliculitis, Gram-Negative - Dermatology Advisor 

Antifungal drugs treat fungal infections by killing or stopping the growth of dangerous fungi in the body. Fungi, like bacteria, can develop  antibiotic resistance, when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Antifungal resistance occurs when fungi no longer respond to antifungal drugs. Antifungal Resistance | Fungal Diseases | CDC 

As if COVID-19 hasn’t wreaked enough havoc, enter the fungal co-infection. 

People with severe COVID-19, such as those in an intensive care unit (ICU), are particularly vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections. The most common fungal infections in patients with COVID-19 include aspergillosis or invasive candidiasis.16  These fungal co-infections are reported with increasing frequency and can be associated with severe illness and death.1,3,4,7,8  Awareness of the possibility of fungal co-infection is essential to reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment in order to help prevent severe illness and death from these infections. Fungal Diseases and COVID-19 | CDC 

I’ve been around medicine enough to know that big pharma has to diligently cover its butt, that is to say, cover all the bases where side-effects and complications are concerned. But the treatment of choice for a common type of folliculitis contracted in pools and hot tubs is alarming. This 20-week treatment requires monthly visits to the doctor and education about potential side effects including: 

(females- monthly pregnancy tests and two forms of birth control required) risk of birth defects 
risk of depression, suicide, IBS 
laboratory monitoring of liver function 
dry lips and skin, nosebleeds  
joint pain, muscle aches, vision changes, headaches 
Folliculitis, Gram-Negative - Dermatology Advisor 

I had no idea the measures thousands of families, coaches and athletes take to treat a chronic yet preventable infection.  Neither did I know how desperate the battle against fungus and antibiotic-resistant bacteria had become.  At the beginning of every season, the newcomers are welcomed into the wrestling family with enthusiasm, support and the obligatory “about skin infections” talk.  It’s almost as uncomfortable as a conversation about STDs as we watch shock register on the faces of the new, vulnerable parents when they hear the coach or the wrestling club president say, “That’s just the way it is.  It’s going to happen.  They’ll come home with something red or itchy.  Just talk to another parent about it.  We’ll figure it out.”  They glance over at their 5-year-old who is rolling around on a wrestling mat trying to put a second grader into a headlock and wonder what they’ve signed up for.   

There is hope. Simple hygiene effectively prevents the spread of MRSA.  Understanding how fungal spores disperse and where they thrive is crucial information for families attempting to stop the spread of ringworm.  When a familyteam, or custodial service adds COMPEL to their cleaning protocols, the results are game-changing.  COMPEL is proven to moisturize and maintain healthy skin for hours.  When used on surfaces, COMPEL says, “Not today, fungi and bacteria!” for an entire week! Okay, maybe I’m the one saying that as I spray down the floors, mats, equipment and clothes.  And if I’m really being candid(a), I sometimes say it out loud.  Introduce COMPEL Germ Management to your fungal and bacterial battles and you can say it with me! 
*Names have been changed for reasons of privacy. 

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