Skin infections caused by fungi are rather common. Fungi are microorganisms which have no ability to feed and develop on their own but instead, they need a host. Their hosts can be animals, plants and, of course, people. There are many types of these parasites and they can be found virtually everywhere.
Some of them naturally live in our body without making any difference to our general health but when our immune system weakens, that is when fungi may take over and that is when the infections happen. Antifungal therapy is based on the type of the infection, as well as its seriousness.
Different kinds of fungal infections and their treatment
As skin is our biggest organ, it is only natural that it suffers the greatest impact. Since fungi greatly enjoy wet and humid places, the parts of our skin which suffer the most are skin creases, such as the skin between our toes or genital area. Fungal infections of the skin typically become visible in the form of redness, peeling blotches, circular patches or blisters.
Athlete’s foot, known medically as tinea pedis, affects the skin between the toes and may spread to toenails and hands. The tell-tale signs include itching, peeling of the skin, blisters and rough, discolored soles. The risk of developing this infection increases through wearing tight, constraining shoes disabling your skin from breathing or keeping your feet wet for prolonged periods of time.
Tinea cruris, most commonly known as jock itch, is yet another fungal skin condition affecting inner thighs, genitals or groins. During summer months or vigorous exercise, the sweating in those areas is amplified and fungi do love humid environments. Jock itch may manifest through circular rash with distinct edges and is usually accompanied by itching and pain. Decent hygiene and topical, OTC pills are just enough to beat this annoying infection.
Ringworm is transmitted through skin contact like the majority of fungi are. It is characterized by a circular rash with clear edges resembling a worm. The inner area may be covered in red blisters of different sizes or scaly patches which can be itchy and painful. The treatment of ringworm may last for two to four weeks and in most cases, quite successfully. As with other fungi, prevention is always the best treatment.
Yeast infections are caused by fungi called Candida. Although naturally present inside and out of our body, this fungus may get out of control and affect oral cavity, skin, or genitals. Systemic candidiasis is the most severe condition this fungus can lead to. It is followed by intestinal distress, sinus infection, and white patches on the tongue. Such cases require serious medical treatment and strict diet. Other benign forms are easily eradicated by antifungal topical medications.
Prevention is usually the best treatment and it includes decent hygiene and staying away from being barefoot in public places, such as pools, saunas or lockerrooms. If the infection already exists, topical antifungal medications like creams, sprays, gels or powders are applied to the infected area.