Fungal Infections

Information on the causes and symptoms of skin fungal infections.

Select a Topic

  1. What is a Fungal Infection?
  2. Diagnosing a Fungal Infection
  3. What Causes a Fungal Infection?
  4. Help for a Fungal Infection

What is a Fungal Infection?

If you have ever had athlete’s foot, Candida, or jock itch, you can blame it on a fungal infection. Anybody can get a fungal infection, and in today’s active lifestyle, they are fairly common.

Most cases of fungal infections are not serious, but can lead to further health problems, particularly for people with weakened immune systems.

Diagnosing a Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are commonly self-diagnosed or recognized by a doctor through simple visual examination. Occasionally, a sample of the infected skin may be taken, and typically a fast diagnosis can then be determined.

What Causes a Fungal Infection?

These infections are caused by fungi which exist in the air, in soil, on plants, and even in the human body. For the most part, they do not affect us. However, sometimes when our immune systems are low or the perfect environment is created for fungi to grow, fungal infections develop.

The best environment for these fungi to grow is one that is warm, dark and humid – which is why they are so common in public showers, pools, and locker rooms. They often develop in covered or protected areas of the body such as between the toes or in the groin area. Another common cause of fungal infections is the use of antibiotics, as these tend to kill off the "good" bacteria, leaving a fungus such as yeast able to grow unchecked.

Common Types of Fungal Infections

Some common types of fungal infections include:

  • Ringworm
  • Athlete’s foot(new set ailments)
  • Candida
  • Thrush
  • Jock itch(new set ailments)
  • Nail fungus
  • Toenail fungus(new set ailments)

Help for a Fungal Infection

Some fungal infections are contagious, so it’s important to treat them swiftly before they spread to other people or to other areas of your body. This may be tricky, as many fungal infections are stubborn and somewhat difficult to treat.

Most fungal infections are treated with oral or topical anti-fungal medications that your physician will prescribe or that you can obtain from a local pharmacy. Remember that like many allopathic medications, anti-fungal remedies do have various cautions and side effects that should be researched beforehand.

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