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Fungal Infection

Fungal Infection

What is Fungal Infection?

When the fungus invades the human tissues to cause a typical disease that remains confined to the skin, spreads right into the tissue, organs or bones and also affects the complete body, this is known as a fungal infection.

Types

Fungal infections are of different types and common among them include:    

  • Athlete’s Foot: Tinea pedis also known as athlete’s foot is one of the most common types of fungal infection that develops in the foot region of the body. This infection is commonly found among sports person and the fungus grows well in a moist and warm environment. The fungus gets enough of this in socks, shoes and in the sports equipment. In summer, it multiplies fast. Anyone can have this infection.
  • Jock Itch: Tinea cruris, also termed as jock itch, is one form of fungal infection that develops on the skin. These fungi prefer warm and moist environment and develop on those areas of skin where sweating is maximum, for example, buttocks, groin, and also inner thighs. It’s contagious in nature and spreads with direct contact of the body of an infected individual.
  • Ringworm: Tinea corporis, is another name of ringworm but it’s not a worm, rather a fungal infection that develops on the skin. It looks circular and red in color with a flat sore. The outer circle of sore may get raised keeping the mid area normally. It is not a serious medical condition.

Causes

  • Athlete’s Foot:Athlete’s foot develops due to a microscopic fungus that lives and grows on dead tissues of toenails, hair, and even on outer skin layers. There are 4 categories of fungus that cause this infection and the major among them is Trichophyton rubrum.
  • Jock Itch: Warmth and skin friction, in the moist areas of the body like groin, buttocks, and thighs develop this infection. Clothing and especially undergarments trap the sweat and create a welcoming condition for the fungus to develop an infection in the covered areas. Besides fungus, there is some yeast that causes this infection like Candida, Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton.
  • Ringworm:Ringworm spreads due to direct contact with the affected person, animal or object.

Signs and Symptoms

Athlete’s Foot:

  •    Cracking, scaling and peeling of the skin of feet.
  •    Blisters, redness, and skin break down in the affected area.
  •    Burning sensation, itching or stinging feeling.

Jock Itch:

  •    A feeling of itching, burning or chafing, in the areas like groin or thigh.
  •    Raised circular and red rash having elevated edges.
  •    Peeling or cracking of the skin.
  •    Development of redness on the skin.

Ringworm:

  •    Red, circular and flat sore on the skin.
  •    More than one such type of patch on the skin.

Treatment

  • Athlete’s Foot:Dermatologists recommend anti-fungal creams and sprays for managing the condition till the time the skin clears.
  • Jock Itch:Zinc oxide ointments are given by dermatologists to apply on the affected area for 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Ringworm: Depending on the condition, topical or oral drugs are recommended by a dermatologist.

Duration

It is advisable to apply the recommended creams and take oral medicines as per the instructions of a dermatologist. In major cases, 4 weeks time is needed to recover from above fungal infections.