What are Fungal Infections
Anyone can get a fungal infection. It is found on the body, in a variety of places, but seen on the top of your skin. You may get this on your nail, or under your nail, on your scalp or in the groin area. A fungal infection comes about when a fungus called a dermophyte infects the skin. It often looks like other skin problems so you may not recognize it as a fungal infection. It may look like an allergic reaction or something more sinister. The skin is often red, flaking, itches and may change color. The dermatologists will check to see if it is a fungus by taking a small sample of the infected and looking at it under a microscope.
Fungal infections usually like warm and moist areas of the body. That is where they usually grow. So, the groin, the areas between your toes and parts of the skin where there are folds or under the breasts.
There are many different kinds of fungal infections. But here are the most common:
- Ringworm (tinea corpora). Ringworm is not caused by a worm. It is actually a very tiny fungus that forms a ring, with a clear center, as it grows. After a small area becomes infected, it grows out from the center into a round red ring. The area around that ring itches and may be flaky. It can spread to various areas of the body and scalp. It can start in a locker room or shower, which has the ideal warm and moist climate. Or, as with small children, it often comes from family pets.
- Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis). Athlete’s foot is a very common form of fungal infection. It usually appears on the soles of the foot and between the toes. It will appear as red and peeling dry skin patches. The skin is flakey and may even blister with thick patches of dry, red skin. In extreme cases, there may be cracking and bleeding as well. The fungus itches and burns the feet. The fungus needs a warm and moist environment to grow, like that found inside your gym shoes, in locker rooms and in shower rooms. You can get it easily when walking barefoot in the locker room or pool area.
- Jock Itch (tinea cruris). This is another form of ring worm that thrives in warm and moist areas. The person feels itching, burning and redness in the groin area, which may include the inner thighs. It can infect the genitals, buttocks and anal area as well. The skin may peel and crack. And the redness is often in the circle like formation of ringworm. It occurs often with people who sweat a lot, like athletes, but also overweight people, even women, can get this form of fungus.
- Candidiasis. This type of fungal infection is the same as a yeast infection that women get in the vaginal area. This too infects warm and moist area, like underarms, mouth and under the folds of the breasts. In babies, it is called Thrush and is found in the mouth and diaper areas. In adults, oral yeast infections are quite common in people with dentures . Heavy people may get this infection under the breast and lower abdomen or other skin folds.
Products that can Help with Fungal Infection
There are a number of over the counter and prescrition medication which can help with Fungal Infections. There are also a few natural formulsa, made by Dermisil company which are useful and do not have any harmful side effects. They make a variety of topical treatment which are very effecting for releaving the itching and redness and clearing up the infection.
- Dermisil AF – This is one of the all-natural product which is very soothing for athlete’s foot fungus.
- Dermisil J – This is one of the all-natural product for the treatment of jock itch.
- Dermisil R – This is one of the all-natural product for fungus infections like ringworm
Treatment for Fungal Infections
First, you need to find out if the rash or skin irritation is a fungal infection. Then, once it is diagnosed, the specific treatment depends on where it is located. Often, a topical antifungal medication will be prescribed. Your doctor may also recommend hydrocortisone cream to help relieve itching.
People with fungal infections are usually told to keep the affected areas as dry as possible. When you go swimming, change your bathing suit right away. If you work out or engage in sports, change out of the sweaty clothes right away. For the scalp, use a special antifungal type of shampoo. And for thrush, there are antifungal mouth rinses. You may be instructed to wear open shoes or change socks often. Men with jock itch should wear loose cotton shorts.
Ringworm is often treated with an oral antifungal medication, and special antifungal shampoo. In most cases, fungal infections clear up in a few weeks of treatment, depending upon the location and severity. But fungal infections, like athlete’s foot, tend to come back often.
Prevention of Fungal Infections
You can help prevent many kinds of fungal infections by keeping the skin clean and dry. Wear sandals in public showers, pool areas or locker rooms. If you work out, cover the bench with a towel. Ringworm and other fungus are contagious and can be easily passed along through contact with areas others have touched.
When to See your doctor for Fungal Infections
If you have a rash or red spots that do not go away, you should see a doctor. The doctor may take samples of the infected areas and look at it under a microscope. The doctor may take scrapings or smears of the tissue from skin, nails, mouth, or genital areas.
Some forms of infections are more serious and will not respond to home remedies. If the fungus has spread to the toe nail, and seeps under the nail, you will need stronger medication that you can buy over the counter. Also, if the infected area begins to ooze or swells, you should ask your doctor.
Most forms of fungal infections are quite annoying. You should see a dermatologist, if you can, as soon as possible.