What is a fungal infection?
Fungal infections in a human body occur when an invading fungus takes over an area of the body and gets too much for the immune system to manage it. If you have a weak immune system or taking steroids, then your body is more prone to fungal infections. Patients detected with cancer and diabetes also easily fall prey to fungal infections.
Tinea Pedis is a common fungal infection. Sports persons or athletes are more prone to this type of fungal infection because it grows perfectly in warm, moist environments such as feet covered with socks and shoes. However, the reality is that anyone can get affected by an athlete's foot. Mostly experienced during summer months where the infection quickly multiplies. An itchy feet does not always indicate that you have an athlete's foot. You are diagnosed with this condition only when the doctor scraps scaling skin off the patient’s feet and inspects it further with a microscope for any fungal infection. This condition can be treated with topical anti-fungal ointments. Oral medications are prescribed in cases of severe infections. One needs to take good care of the feet and keep it dry at all times in order to kill the fungus. It is always advisable to wear sandals in public showers or locker rooms.
Tinea Corporis is a superficial dermatophyte infection that appear as either inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions on the glabrous skin i.e skin regions including groin, palms and soles. Signs and symptoms include lesions that begin as erthymatous scaly plaque and may worsen rapidly.
Causes of Tinea Corporis include:
- Immunocompromised patients
- Prolonged application of topical glucocorticoids
- System steroid occlusion
- Occupational ichthyosis
- High humidity
Numerous Fungi superficially invade epidermis and adenexa (hair, hair follicles & nail apparatus) and mucosal sites. Infection can extend more deeply in the immuno compromised. Dermatophylers are a group of fungi that are capable of infecting non-viable keratinized cutaneous structures including stratum corneum nail and hair.
Topical Anti-fungal Preparations
- Substituted Pyridone
Systematic Anti-fungal Agents
- Azole / Imidazoles
Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of Candida, which disturbs the normal balance of the bacteria and yeast in the vagina. This imbalance takes place due to antibiotics, stress and hormone imbalances, or poor eating habits. In severe cases, doctors examine the vaginal walls and cervix for signs of infection, taking cells from the vagina if needed for proper diagnosis. Treatments for yeast infection depend on its severity. Normally the treatments include over the counter creams and tablets. Complicated cases of infections may require complex treatments.
Jock itch is another common fungal skin infection. It is mildly contagious and is often spread because of direct contact with an infected person or an object that is fungus-infected. A jock itch is an itchy red rash typically in a circular shape that can be treated with topical anti fungal ointments and proper hygiene.
Ringworm is another type of fungal infection noticeable because of its shape and caused by fungus that lives on dead tissues, such as the skin, hair, and nails. This infection further causes both jock itch and athlete's foot. Basic hygiene which includes keeping the skin clean and dry can help treat and prevent ringworm.