Causes of Fungal Skin Infections

Causes of Fungal Skin Infections: How to Prevent Them?

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Written By: Poulami Saha | 27 November 2023

Itching…more itching…hyper-itching(sometimes)…This continues until those fungi themselves change their mind. That’s where the onset of the red flag on your skin begins. Termed mycosis, fungal skin infections result from fungus infiltrating various body parts, taking the shape of red rashes or bumps. These microorganisms can enter unexpected body parts such as your mouth, lungs, and urinary tract. Indeed an inbuilt civilization where these unique creatures, distinct from plants and animals, engage in a game of spreading and releasing spores into the air, leading to skin infection. The fact is no one is immune to the power of these fungal invaders, regardless of where they choose to strike. To know more, Apex will delve into all about fungal skin infections, and most importantly how to prevent getting them on your skin

Common Types of Fungal Skin Infections

Some fungi are capable of attacking healthy hosts and constitute dangerous for immune-compromised persons. Such fungi are often harmless but could be a burden for a person with a debilitated body immunity. These common fungal skin infections include:

  1. 1. Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis): Generally, this common infection stems from the growth of the fungus on deceased tissues in toe spaces and between toes as well as foot soles. Came particularly under warm, humid conditions associated with people wearing tight shoes and perspiring socks, etc. The symptoms may include redness, discomfort, cracked or blistered skin, and flaky skin on the area affected.
  2. 2. Yeast Infections (Candida): Mostly caused by Candida, which is harmless but can cause candidiasis when it is in the digestive system or urinary tract. Some symptoms are caused by the multiplication of bacteria in warm and moist parts of the body such as diabetes, obesity, and some antibiotics. Examples of non-contagious signs include dermatitis/diaper rash in children, oral thrush, onychomycosis, and vaginal candidiasis.
  3. 3. Nail Yeast Infection: Thick, yellowish, or brittle nails are the common signs when such fungal skin infection starts developing. As a consequence, swellings and pus drainage evolve out of infection which can be painful as hell.
  4. 4. Ringworm: Ringworm is just a name for an infection by a fungus and not a worm. It occurs mostly in areas that are open like arms and legs. Such a lesion is reddish on the scalp and has an annular appearance. Ringworm can be transmitted by touching an infected person as well as an object that is infected with ringworm like beddings and clothing. Additionally, cats and dogs often harbour this ringworm fungus.
  5. 5. Jock itch (tinea cruris): In most cases, jock itch affects the groin region and the surrounding parts of the thighs. It is most prevalent in males and teenage boys. The major feature is lesions and sometimes a burning sensation, such as a rash often appearing first near to above genitalia in a symmetric form. This rash worsens following exercise and other activities that involve physical movements, spreading down to the perineum and stomach or a cracked wet open wound. It might also have a margin that is barely raised and appears darker than the surrounding skin on the periphery. Jock itch is diagnosed by a doctor’s physical examination or by using a microscope in observing a sample.

What causes Fungal Skin Infection?

Although billions of fungi exist worldwide, few are considered human pathogens including certain species of yeast and mould. Examples of such include environmental fungi that thrive either in the soil or water. This found that the common disease that affects the skin is a fungal skin infection which is induced by some fungi and yeast-like candidiasis. Some fungi and yeasts give rise to such infections, which may be transmitted from person to person, via pets, or even infrequently, from direct exposure to the soils as well.
For some infections like candidiasis (thrush) are due to excessive growths of benign fungi. These high-risk activities put someone at higher risk, for instance, close-contact sports like wrestling. They can be obtained through sharing contaminated objects like clothes or towels and walking in communal showers with naked feet leads to foot fungal infection. Several things encourage the presence of mushrooms, for instance, putting on tight-fitting clothes that are not breathable, staying too much in hot and moist conditions, being obese, and possessing areas within the body that are subjected to rubbing. People with a compromised immune system, diabetes, taking an antibiotic in recent times or pregnant individuals might be affected by fungus too.

How to prevent Fungal Skin infection?

As always said, “Prevention is better than cure”. The very first antidote before any other is to declutter your surroundings, which means not only keeping things in place but also making sure it is tidy. When it comes to cleaning, regular items that always fall in touch with your skin should be dealt with as a main priority. Other precautions to take include:
  • 1. Use caution when drying off, particularly in hard-to-reach areas.
  • 2. Opt for breathable, loose-fitting clothing made from cotton, which is your skin’s best friend.
  • 3. Remember, personal items should be kept for your use only – this includes towels, hair brushes, and combs.
  • 4. Avoid walking barefoot in shared areas such as pools and saunas.
  • 5. Give your shoes a break – swap them out every few days to allow them to air out.
  • 6.For scalp infection, bleach your accessories to ensure a thorough and clean removal.
    If the fungal skin infection still persists, applying over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream keeps the microbes at bay.
The common misconception held around fungal skin infection is considering every redness a skin allergy. Ever heard of dermatophytid reactions? They’re like surprise parties your skin throws when there’s a fungal infection elsewhere. Picture this: your foot hosts a fungal fiesta, and suddenly, your fingers decide to respond with an itchy, bumpy rash – uninvited! These eruptions, aka dermatophytes or identity reactions, are like allergic shout-outs from your skin, not some contagious handshake with the infected area. Intriguing, right?

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