5 Causes and Symptoms of Skin Fungal Infections: Fungal infections are witnessed when the fungus takes over an area in the human body incapable of fighting it off.
Fungal infections of the skin include athlete’s foot, ringworm, and yeast infection to name a few. These infections are highly contagious and can be spread just by contact with an infected person. Fungi are commonly found in the air, in the soil and naturally occurring in water.
- Environment The fungus grows best in warm and moist environments. These environments are in swimming pools, in public showers and on the inside of shoes and socks. Tight underwear may also result in the kind of environment where fungi thrive.
- Hormonal changes in women- especially- undergo a lot of hormonal changes during their life. This can be seen during puberty, during a menstrual period and also during pregnancy and menopause. The imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in the body can trigger infections in the body. High estrogen levels in a woman’s body resulting in the production of glycogen that acts as a catalyst for the fungus to thrive and flourish.
- Uncontrolled diabetes:
Fungal infections are symptomatic of diabetes that is not controlled. The rise in the blood sugar levels results in the tissue of the body having an excess of glucose. This can result in fungal infections.
- Hygiene: Hygiene plays a very important role in the development or the curbing of any infection. Wearing clothes twice or thrice in a row despite them having sweat on them leads to the development of fungal infection due to the presence of a warm and moist environment. It is important to maintain good hygiene especially during the warm months of the year. Bathing is essential to rid your body of infection-causing organisms. Candid B cream or powder can be applied to the groin area, to the underarms and below breasts to ensure that sweat does not linger and result In excessive moisture.
- Weakened immune systems:
Persons with a weakened immune system as a result of AIDS, organ grafts, or chemotherapy are susceptible to fungal skin infections. The body becomes unable to fight the infection that affects the body.
Some common skin fungal infections and their symptoms are listed below.
- Athletes foot is an infection that is the result of a fungus called Trichophyton. Humid conditions favour the growth of this organism. Athlete’s foot is called so because it is a common case in warm, moist environments such as in sport’s shoes and socks that have been used.
The condition is more prevalent during the warmer months when the fungi can multiply rapidly.
Burning between the toes.
Peeling skin on foot.
Blisters on the affected area.
- Ringworm is a severe illness that is caused due to fungi. It is contagious and can be quite hard to eliminate.
It is characterised by itchy, reddish ring-shaped rashes that can be found anywhere on the body.
- Tinea Capitis is an infection caused by the dermatophyte fungus. It is most commonly seen in children. The fungus grows by invading the hair shaft and thrives there.
Dry scales that look like dandruff
Smooth areas due to hair loss
Inflamed mass like an abscess known as a Kerion
- Various kinds of fungi can cause nail infection, but the common one is Candida. It occurs when the spores of the fungus make its way underneath the nail- onto the nail bed. They feed off the keratin in the nail.
Nails are dull and lose their natural shine.
Yellow spots in the middle of the nail.
Thickening of the nail.
Discomfort while wearing shoes.
- Candidiasis of the skin is found in the folds of the skin. This contagious infection may spread to other people and also to other parts of the body.
Rashes accompanied by itching skin
Blisters and pustules may occur
Cracked and sore skin
Fungal infections are notorious for taking a long time to heal. Superficial infections on the skin heal within a few weeks or months. However, the infections that affect the tissues may take even a year or two to completely clear up. The symptoms of the same can be treated with different medications. This can help in easing the discomfort that accompanies the infection as well.
It is important to remember that not all infections are fungal skin infections. They are all treated differently, and a dermatologist makes the diagnosis of each of the diseases by scraping a portion of the skin off and inspecting it under a microscope for the presence of fungi. Treatment of bacterial and viral infections are completely different from the treatment of fungal infections.
Infections also behave differently based on the fungus that it is causing the infection. Symptoms are also specific to this. Treatments for the same should be provided accordingly.