Six Types of Fungal Infections that you Should know
Fungi are omnipresent. They are in the air, water, and even on our skin. Yes, you heard that right! When you hear the word “Fungus”, it is natural for you to feel intimidated or disgusted. But there is one thing that you may not know. Helpful and harmful fungi surround us. The former helps in strengthening our immune system, while the latter attacks when the immune system is weak, resulting in a fungal infection.
The one in focus today are the harmful fungi.
Fungal infections are rashes, discolouration, or blisters caused on the body when an invading fungus attacks and the immune system cannot fight back. They are often uncomfortable to deal with, but they can be treated with anti-fungal medications or clinical treatment.
This blog will take you through different types of fungal infections to help you get more clarity and ways to prevent them.
Symptoms of fungal infection
A fungal infection may often appear out of the blue. It is hard to pinpoint the exact circumstances that gave you a fungal infection. Here are a few symptoms for you to identify a fungal infection so that you take action fast.
A fungal infection may cause irritation, scaly skin, rashes, redness, itching, swelling, or blisters. It is often red and spreads across a large skin area. It may also have characteristics like intense red colour & scale at the border and smaller bumps near the edge of the rash.
Fungi usually develop in a wet and swampy environment. It is typically found where the skin folds in the body, such as the elbow creases, leg creases, thighs, and buttocks.
What are the different types?
The harmful fungi affect the human body in more than one way resulting in different fungal infections. Here are some of the most common ones that you should be aware of:
- Athlete’s foot
Athlete's foot is the most common type of fungal infection. This skin condition often surfaces when a person walks barefoot in public bathrooms, locker rooms, or any damp or swampy area. In this case, the skin between your toes turns white and peels off. It can also affect the soles of your feet and make it difficult for you to walk if the infection becomes severe.
- Nail fungus
Nail fungus is often called toenails or fingernails fungus, affecting your toenails and fingers. It develops over time; hence it is difficult to point it out during the initial few days. As it grows, you’ll notice that the finger or toenail becomes yellow and thick and tends to break easily.
- Jock itch
It is a common fungal infection that affects more men than women. This type of fungal infection is caused due to wearing tight clothes that trap moisture. This condition causes an itchy rash near the groin and inner thighs and is shaped like a ring. Jock itch is a common fungal rash in people who sweat profusely and are overweight.
A ringworm is a fungal infection that does not involve any kind of worm. This infection gets its name because of its appearance as it is a red circular itchy patch on the skin. Ringworm often spreads by coming in contact with an infected person or animal.
- Scalp ringworm
Scalp ringworm is also called tinea capitis, which forms an itchy ring-shaped fungal rash on the head. It is a contagious infection and is most common in toddlers and children. This skin condition causes hair loss, but the hair grows back with proper and timely treatment.
- Yeast infection
Yeast infection is a type of fungal infection which is not contagious, unlike others. This skin infection commonly develops in warm, moist, and creased body areas like the groin and armpits. It can also cause infection in your mouth, vagina, or nails. People who are obese, have diabetes, or are on antibiotics are at a higher risk of falling prey to this fungal infection.
How can you prevent fungal infections?
Fungal infections tend to reoccur. Once you have dealt with it, you wouldn’t want to deal with it again. So, here is some preventive measure you can take to avoid fungal infections.
- Keeping yourself clean is the first and foremost tip to avoid fungal infection. Practising good personal hygiene strikes off many risk factors.
- Don’t share your clothes with others
- Always wear a clean set of clothes, especially socks and undergarments
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes or shoes often. Wear clothes and shoes that help your skin breathe well
- Make sure you dry your body well after a shower or swimming with a clean and dry towel
Keep a safe distance from animals suffering from some kind of infection.
Fungal infections can be avoided by making simple changes in your hygiene and eating habits. These tips will help you reduce the risks of diseases and make you feel fresh and clean.
When to see a doctor?
As mentioned earlier, fungal infections are nothing to be afraid of as they are not severe. But it is always recommended to consult a doctor if you feel the fungal rash is getting worse. The doctor will help you with a course of treatment that will speed up the healing process of the infection and diagnose any underlying issue that needs to be treated.
Furthermore, rush to the doctor immediately if you notice that your infection is spreading to other parts of your body, inducing fever or pain.
Though many over-the-counter medicines are available to treat fungal infections, it is always better to consult a dermatologist first. They will help you understand the type and the treatment that will work best. Skin and Hair Academy is a portal where you can find and connect with the country's top dermatologists. Find the correct answers to your skin & hair issues with experts and get access to insightful content on various dermatological issues.