Mycosis, or fungal infection, is a skin disease caused by the overgrowth of harmful fungi. Fungi are microorganisms found almost everywhere—household surfaces, plants, dirt, and even in our bodies. Fungi, in small amounts, are generally harmless. However, the rapid increase in number can lead to the development of bumps, rashes, irritation, and infection. Several fungal infections include oral thrush, ringworm, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, and jock itch. These occur in different places of the body, but they share some common symptoms like redness of the affected area, itchiness, swelling, scaly and dry skin, and blisters.
This article discusses some of the most common types of fungal infections and the most effective treatments for them.
Fungal Nail infections
Onychomycosis or fungal nail infections are among the most common fungal infections. Anyone can get onychomycosis, especially those who have diabetes, arterial disease, trauma, nail injury, open wound, poor blood circulation, and other types of fungal infections. Nail infections result from several types of fungi thriving in the small cracks of the nails and skin around them.
Fungal nail infections do not go away on their own and are generally difficult to cure. If a fungal nail infection is not detected and treated early, it can spread to different parts of the body. This is why early detection is important. Doctors may prescribe creams, other topical treatments, and tablets for fungal infection. Severe or neglected cases of fungal nail infections may even lead to the complete removal of the nail.
Tinea cruris or jock itch is another common type of fungal infection. One thing that you have to remember about fungi is that they love dark, warm, and damp places. So, they grow and thrive in the most secluded and moist places in the human body, like the inner thighs, buttocks, and groin. Jock itch particularly develops around these areas. Patients may experience itchiness, chafing, irritation, and a burning sensation around the infected parts. They may also notice their skin flaking, dry peeling, or cracking.
Jock itch is easy to identify because of its unique appearance. It is often treated with antifungal ointments, creams, and over-the-counter medications. It would help if you also kept the infected areas clean and dry at all times. Jock itch is contagious, so you should avoid sharing items like towels, underwear, and gear to prevent the infection from spreading.
Ringworm or Tinea corporis is an infection triggered by the rapid increase of fungi in the skin, hair, and nails. It can appear in any part of the body. Ringworms are very easy to spot because they are shaped like raised rings. The skin outside the rings or circles may appear red or brown depending on your skin colour, while the skin inside the rings may appear healthy or normal. Ringworms are extremely itchy and highly contagious. It can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, pet, or objects like wet towels, dirty shoes, or damp clothes.
Doctors usually recommend creams, ointments, lotions, and moisturisers. Severe cases of ringworm may require clinical treatments and oral medications. You can prevent the spread of ringworm by keeping your skin clean and dry, avoiding shared items, and avoiding crowded places and public spaces.
Fungal infections are common and do not usually cause medical emergencies if treated properly. However, they may still cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Most fungal infections can be avoided by practising good personal hygiene, wearing breathable fabric, and not using shared objects. Fungal infections usually go away after a few days or weeks of medication.