SKIN FUNGAL INFECTIONS
Fungus is a primitive organism that includes mushrooms, mold and mildew. They live in air, water in soil, on plants and even in the human body. Only about half of all types of fungi are dangerous.
Certain fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air making them easy to inhale, potentially causing lung infections. These airborne fungi can also land on your skin, resulting in fungal infections on the skin. If you have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics, you are more likely to get a fungal infection.
Fungi usually make their homes in moist areas of the body where skin surfaces meet: between the toes, in the genital area, and under the breasts. Common fungal skin infections are caused by yeasts or dermatophytes, such as Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton. Many such fungi live only in the topmost layer of the epidermis and do not penetrate deeper. Obese people are more likely to get these infections because they have excessive skinfolds. People with diabetes tend to be more susceptible to fungal infections as well.
SYMPTOMS OF SKIN FUNGAL INFECTIONS
- Red, itchy, scaly, or raised patches
- Raised patches that develop blisters or begin to ooze
- Patches that are redder on the outside edges, resembling a ring
- Patches with edges that are defined and raised
- Itchy rashes
- Red or purple patches
- White substance over affected areas
- Scaling (shedding of the skin)
- Cracks in the skin
- Erythema (area of redness)
- Appearance of soft white skin (maceration)
- Pimples filled with pus
- Red and white lesions in your mouth (oral thrush)
TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR SKIN FUNGAL INFECTIONS
- Medications, which contain clotrimazole or ketoconazole: Having a Candida infection, you will most probably be prescribed over-the-counter drugs, such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole, both of which are from a class of antifungal drugs known as azoles. They don’t have serious side effects as compared to other antifungal agents like nystatin or amphotericin B. The infection should clear in about seven to 10 days.Your doctor may prescribe you various medications if you are proven to have a ringworm infection. The medication prescribed depends on the severity of your infection. Ketoconazole is a prescription strength cream that is often used to treat these types of fungal infections. Over-the-counter medications and skin creams may also be recommended. They may contain clotrimazole, miconazole, or other related ingredients.
DIAGNOSING SKIN FUNGAL INFECTIONS
- Physical examination: Your health care provider can usually diagnose this condition by looking at your skin.
- Skin samples testing: Your GP will usually diagnose a fungal skin infection by looking at your skin and the location of any rash. They may take a scrape of your skin or a fragment of your nail or hair. Your GP will send this sample to a laboratory for testing to confirm the diagnosis.