Fungal Skin Infections Types, Symptoms And Treatments

June 17, 2018

Is the fungal infection serious?
Fungal skin infections and fungal nail infections are gross and itchy, but usually not serious. Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch and jock itch can be easily contracted and passed on to others. Healthy people don’t usually have fungus that spreads beyond the surface of their skin, so they’re easy to treat. If you spend a lot of time at the gym or public pools, follow these steps to prevent fungal infections.

ringworm
Ringworm, or ringworm of the hands and feet, is a pathogen that can cause fungal infections of the scalp, fungal infections of the face, or infections of other parts of the body. Tinea corporis produces a characteristic fungal infection rash that is round, raised, red, and itchy. People usually pick up ringworm from other people, pets, or contaminated items that carry the organism. Keeping your skin clean and dry can help prevent ringworm. Avoid sharing personal items, including towels, combs, and brushes, with others to avoid spreading the infection. Ringworm is easily transmitted.

athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection of the feet. It causes cracks, itching, burning and peeling between the toes. This infection is caused by a ringworm fungus and is usually found in locker rooms, gyms, pool areas, towels and shoes. Always wear shower shoes when you are in a public shower or pool area. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day. Air dry your shoes before wearing them. Wear clean socks every day.

Itchy socks.
Itchy socks are a fungal infection on the groin. This red, itchy, raised rash affects men and women alike. Itchy socks are caused by a ringworm fungus. You’re more likely to get it when you sweat and when you’re in humid weather. Exercising in gym clothes creates a hot, humid environment in which jock itch can grow. Reduce your risk of jock itch by keeping your groin area clean and dry. Wear fresh clothes and underwear every day. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes.

nail fungus
Toenail fungal infection is very common. It appears as a thick, yellowish, brittle toenail, although fingernails can also be affected. Take the same precautions to avoid toenail fungus as you would to avoid other types of fungal infections. Keep your hands and feet clean and dry. Wear clean socks and change them daily. Wear slippers when in locker rooms, swimming pools and public shower areas. Choose wide toe shoes. Do not share personal items such as towels, grooming tools, razors and nail clippers.

Care of sportswear
Minimize the risk of fungal infections by taking good care of your athletic wear. Sweaty sportswear is the perfect breeding ground for fungal and bacterial growth. Wash your sweatshirt immediately after exercising. If you won’t be going to the laundromat right away, at least hang up your wet clothes to dry. Before loading your clothes into the washing machine, turn them upside down to make it easier to clean the dirtiest parts of your clothes. Add baking soda to the washer to help deodorize the clothes. Add vinegar to the rinse cycle to further reduce odor. Wear clean workout clothes before every workout.

Preventing fungal infections at home
What are the causes of fungal infections? You need the fungus to be present, but you also need the environmental conditions that allow the infection to take root and develop. Minimize the risk of fungal infections in your home by keeping your skin clean and dry. Allow your sneakers and socks to air dry before wearing them. Wear clean socks and underwear every day. Always go barefoot or wear sandals to ventilate your feet.

Stay safe in the gym and locker room
The gym and locker rooms are common places where skin or nail fungus is easily contracted. Reduce the risk of infection by wearing clean, loose-fitting gym clothes and keeping your skin dry. Wear sandals or flip-flops near swimming pools, public showers and locker rooms. Wash your hands often, and wash or disinfect them immediately after exercise. Disinfect exercise equipment before and after use. Shower immediately after a workout and throw your exercise equipment in the washing machine. If you won’t do laundry right away, hang up your clothes and air dry damp clothes. If you have cuts or wounds, keep them clean and covered, and stay out of saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms until they heal.

Treatment of fungal infections
If you need treatment for a fungal infection, talk to your doctor. Some skin conditions look like fungal infections, but they have different underlying causes and require different treatments. Mild fungal infections may be easy to treat with topical medications. If you have a severe or persistent infection, you may need a prescription antifungal medication.

Can a fungal infection cause serious illness?
Fungal skin infections and fungal nail infections are annoying, but they are rarely serious. They usually just cause itching and irritation. If a fungal skin infection is serious or worrisome to you, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment.