Skin Fungus Infections – Causes and Symptoms

Dermatophyte, a type of fungus causes fungal skin infections which can be of various types like athlete’s foot, ringworm and cutaneous candidiasis. Deep fungal infections can spread to the internal organs or blood also by invading through layers of the skin.

Risk Factors for Fungal Infections

There are various risk factors for skin fungal infections some of which are listed below:

* Antibiotic Use: While antibiotics can help treat various infections they also decrease the number of helpful bacteria living inside the body. This gives an opportunity for fungi to colonize.

* Use of Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are generally used to mitigate skin inflammation and a number of skin disorders. However these types of drugs reduce our immune response and may create favorable conditions for fungal growth.

* Medical Conditions: Diabetics some those suffering from some types of cancer, e.g., leukemia are more prone to fungal infections.

* Compromised Immune System: Chemotherapy (for cancer treatment) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) may weaken the immune system giving an opportunity for fungi to grow.

* Environmental Factors: Fungal infections more commonly affect the moist areas of body including vagina and mouth. Even sweaty socks and shoes increase possibility of fungal infections.

* Heredity: Some people are genetically predisposed towards fungal infections. When exposed to an infectious surrounding they are more likely to have fungal infections.

Symptoms of Fungal Skin Infections

Fungal skin infections generally start appearing as a rash. Ring-shaped, red itchy patches with a clear center are the symptoms of a ringworm infection. Athlete’s foot appears as itchy rash in between the toes. This may be accompanied by mild irritation or cracking of the skin. In some cases skin becomes sore and susceptible to bacterial infection. Nail ringworm affects toenails and scalp ringworm affects scalp and is contagious in children. Candida infection affects warm areas like skin folds and diaper areas. Fungal infection sometimes occurs on one body part and can cause rash on another body part. This signifies allergic reaction to fungus.

Diagnosis of Skin Fungal Infections

There are two methods by which the type of skin fungus can be determined. They are potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation, and fungal culture method.

Treatment for Skin Fungal Infections

Depressed immune system, diabetes and use of antibiotics or corticosteroids are predisposing factors for fungal infections. If you start treating the weakened immune system, half the problem gets resolved. You can also use anti fungal creams and medications. You should keep the infected area dry and clean and scratching should be avoided. Use of mild hydrocortisone cream is useful to get relief from itching. Before you opt for any kind of treatment option, it is better and advisable to seek your doctor’s advice.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. We aim to be as accurate as possible, but there may be some unintentional omission of information. The content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on within this article.

Source by Tom Chuong

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