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What Is A Fungal Infection?
Fungal infections usually occur on the skin and the most common types are athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch and yeast infections.
Athlete’s foot or also known as tinea pedis is characterised by redness, burning and peeling of the skin on the feet. It normally happens because of wearing tight shoes, staying in wet socks or using shared pools. It’s quite known and common and its name is derived from its popularity among athletes, whose socks often become damp from sweat.
Ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus. It can show anywhere on the body. Ringworm can appear as a red, circle-shaped sore, sometimes accompanied by scaly skin. Even if it is considered a less serious infection, it can look unpleasant.
Jock itch (also called tinea cruris) usually affects the genitals, inner thighs and buttocks. It commonly occurs during humid climates, such as during the summertime. It appears as an itchy red rash that can sometimes be ring-shaped, but less remarkable compared to the ringworm.
Yeast infections are also common and are known as Thrush. They affect the areas of the mouth, throat and genitals. Yeast infections can also manifest in babies through nappy rash as well as infections of the nails. The symptoms may differ but yeast infections usually produce a white or yellow discharge from the infected part of the body and cause itching and pain.
What Causes Fungal Infections?
Microscopic fungi can survive in many parts of our body, without causing any harm. However, sometimes they can grow more rapidly than normal and when there is an overgrowth, a fungal infection will likely develop.
Warm, moist environments are conducive for the fungi to grow, which is why fungal infections usually manifest in moist areas such as the genitals, mouth, inner thighs and feet that have been wearing wet socks or shoes.
How To Treat Fungal Infections?
Treating fungal infections quickly and effectively is crucial not because of the harm but because they are contagious. Using effective medications from True Medical will help save the spread of the fungal infection to others.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Get A Fungal Infection?
Fungal infections are caused by fungi that live on our body and in our environment. When they spread and multiply too rapidly, they cause a fungal infection to appear. They can affect the nails, the skin and hair.
You are at a higher risk of getting a fungal infection if:
- You use swimming pools, gyms, showers and public toilets
- You sweat a lot
- You live in a warm, humid climate.
Keeping your skin clean and dry will ward off most fungal infections. You can use antifungal treatments to eliminate the symptoms, although fungal infections may be difficult to cure and are known to return.
What Are The Most Common Fungal Infections?
There are numerous ways a fungal infection can manifest itself like. These are the most common forms of fungal infections:
Ringworm is the most common name for Dermatophytosis, caused by fungi named dermatophytes. It is a contagious skin infection that affects everyone regardless of their age. It is easily treated with the help of anti-fungal creams.
- Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s Foot, known medically as Tinea Pedis, is a fungal skin infection that makes the skin turn scaly, dry and itchy. It can be transferred from one person to the next in areas where people walk barefoot, such as public or gym showers and public pools.
- Jock Itch
Jock Itch or Tinea Curis is caused by the same type of fungus as ringworm and athlete’s foot. It affects the groin and the top of the thighs.
- Scalp Ringworm
The usual symptoms of scalp ringworm include hair loss, reddening, scaling and itching. The infection is caused by fungi that can be transmitted by humans and animals. The spores can survive on various surfaces such as furniture, clothes, towels, hairbrushes and others.
How Are Fungal Infections Diagnosed?
Your GP will examine the area where the symptoms appeared. They will take a small sample of the skin to confirm the presence of the fungus. This will help them determine adequate treatment. It may take several weeks to identify the infection.
How Can I Prevent A Fungal Infection?
Fungi cannot multiply on clean, dry and healthy skin. Therefore, here are some steps you can take to prevent infection:
- Keep your skin dry. Pay attention to the areas between your toes and fingers, as well as behind your ears.
- Take care of your nails. Don’t share any manicure or pedicure tools
- Thoroughly wash and dry your hands several times a day
- Don’t touch the infected area on another person
- Don’t share towels, clothing, body soaps and other personal items.
There are also certain lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk:
- Eat healthy food and hydrate regularly
- Avoid tight underwear
- Avoid tight shoes
- Wear cotton underwear
- Don’t use scented tampons and douches
How Do You Treat A Fungal Infection?
Most fungal infections are treated at home with antifungal creams that are available over the counter. While the symptoms may disappear as soon as you start the treatment, keep using it for as long as your GP says or as long as the instructions indicate. This will prevent the fungal infection from coming back. If the treatment doesn’t work, your GP can prescribe antifungal pills that will eliminate the infection.
If the condition is not treated, your skin may develop cracks that can become infected with bacteria. In that case, you will need to take antibiotics.
How Do Fungal Infection Treatments Work?
Antifungal treatments work by eliminating the fungus responsible for the infection. Fluconazole, one of the common active ingredients in most antifungal treatments, prevents the fungal cells from producing ergosterol. This substance is key to fungal cell structure and without it, the fungi cannot maintain themselves. As gaps start appearing in the membrane, the components of the fungal cell leak out and they deteriorate.
True Medical offers different treatments for different fungal infections, affecting the skin and the nails as well as thrush.