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Fungal infections-Types of fungal infection-Symptoms of fungal infection-Symptoms of fungal infection.

Fungal infection.

Fungal infections are infections caused by a fungus, a type of microorganism. Two common causes of fungal infections are a fungus called tinea and yeast infections caused by the fungus Candida albicans.

Some very common types of fungal infections caused by tinea include:
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Jock itch
  • Ringworm

Common yeast infections, also called candida and candidiasis, can infect other areas of the body including:

  • Esophagus
  • Digestive tract (gastroenteritis)
  • Lungs
  • Mouth (oral thrush)
  • Urinary tract

Vagina (vaginal yeast infection, vaginal thrush)

In most cases, fungal infections are treatable in generally healthy people. However, these infections are more likely to occur and can be more difficult to treat in people with weakened immune systems due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, organ transplantation, or taking steroid medications or chemotherapy. In these cases, complications of fungal infections may become life threatening. Recurring fungal infections can also be a symptom of a serious, undiagnosed, underlying disease, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes. Seek prompt medical care for recurring fungal infections including vaginal yeast infections.

Types of fungal infection.

Common types of mild fungal infections include:

Athlete’s foot. Athletes are prone to this type of infection, also known as tinea pedis, because the fungus thrives in the warm, moist environment provided by sweaty socks and shoes. However, anyone can be affected, and the infection can spread from surfaces in warm climates.

Fungal nail infection. Onychomycosis, a fungal nail infection, causes toenails or fingernails to turn yellowish, brown, or white; thicken; and break.

Vaginal yeast infection. Candida, a yeast that normally lives in the body and on the skin, is typically kept in check by bacteria in the vagina, however, if the natural balance is upset, candida can grow out of control and cause an infection.

Thrush.A candida yeast infection of the mouth throat, and esophagus.

Jock Itch. A fungal skin infection, also called tinea cruris, most often found on the groin, buttocks, and inner thighs. Like athlete’s foot, it thrives in moist areas.

Ringworm is not a worm, but the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot and jock itch. It lives on dead tissue including skin, hair, and nails. When it occurs in the beard area, it is sometimes called barber’s itch.

More serious or life-threatening fungal infections include:

Invasive candidiasis. Occurs when candida enters the blood, heart, brain, or other organs. Risk is increased by hospitalization (particularly in the intensive care unit), surgery, having a central venous catheter, kidney failure or hemodialysis, diabetes, intravenous drug use, or a weakened immune system.

Histoplasmosis. A fungal infection of the lungs caused by inhaling fungal spores found in soil and in bat and bird droppings.

Aspergillosis. Commonly called farmer’s lung because the fungi responsible for the infection can be found in moldy hay.

Fungal meningitis. A fungal infection of the brain or spinal cord.

Symptoms of fungal infection.

Symptoms depend on the type of fungal infection:

Skin changes: Cracked, red, scaly, or peeling skin. A rash or blisters may form in the affected area.

Itching, stinging, or burning sensation

Discharge: Vaginal yeast infections may be accompanied by an unusual discharge which can be watery or resemble cottage cheese.

Pain: Vaginal yeast infections may be accompanied by pain during sex or urination.

Nail changes: Discolored, thick, cracked, and fragile nails are a symptom of fungal nail infections.

White patches on tongue or inside of cheeks: White patches are a sign of thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth.


Tinea Pedis: Treatment options include anti-fungal creams and prescription medication for more serious cases.

Onychomycosis: Treatment may involve topical nail lacquer or oral anti-fungal medication.

Tinea Cruris: Depending on the severity, over the counter antifungal or drying powders may be used. For more severe cases, your dermatologist may prescribe a stronger topical or oral antifungal treatment.

Tinea Corporis: Ringworm resembles other conditions, so your doctor may decide to take a skin sample. Over the counter creams and ointments may be used in mild cases. For more severe instances, your dermatologist may provide a prescription.

Tinea Capitis: Treatment may include oral medication and medicated shampoo.

It’s recommended that people stay away from sharing towels or clothing. Another way to prevent fungal infections is to avoid walking barefoot in public places. Also, as much as possible, try to keep your skin clean and dry.


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