Fungal infections are more common than we expect, as fungi can be found nearly everywhere. In plants, soil, and in our bodies, fungal infection can occur when a fungus grows too rapidly and disrupts our body’s natural ecosystem. To learn more about how you can prevent fungal infections, read on:
What is a Fungal Infection?
Fungal infection occurs when the body is exposed to harmful fungi, disrupting our body’s chemical makeup. Fungal infections most often appear as a rash and can cause itchiness, dry and cracked skin. The rash itself is darkest in color around the edge of the infection, hence the catch-all term “ringworm” as its most common name. Their spread can worsen if the infected area is cut, as fungus can spread to inner layers of skin and cause more severe effects.
Some people are more susceptible to fungal infections than others, just like how some people are more vulnerable to dry skin or UTIs. Typically, people who take long-term antibiotics, have weakened immune systems, diabetes, or sweat heavily are more susceptible. However, fungal infections can also occur if the body doesn’t respond well to new skincare treatments.
Types of Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are relatively common, although some are more common than others. You may have heard of or had several common fungal infections without even knowing it. The five most common fungal infections include:
- Athlete’s foot is an infection that affects the feet specifically and can make the skin between the toes and on the soles of the foot white and dry. Athlete’s foot is common among even the most healthy people and is most often contracted by walking barefoot in areas like public bathrooms or locker rooms.
- Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is another common foot problem, but it can also affect the hands. This fungus makes the nails appear yellow and become brittle.
- Jock itch is an infection that affects the groin and typically affects those with penises most.
- Scalp ringworm affects the scalp and is most common among children. One of its symptoms includes hair loss, which can be permanent if not treated quickly and adequately.
The best way to treat an infection is with medication, and doctors will typically prescribe antifungal creams or pills that patients can take to help fight the infection. In some instances, treatment may last several months.
Preventing the Spread
To prevent contracting or spreading a fungal infection, most people have quite a few options. To prevent infection around the feet, make sure your shoes are not too tight, and keep your feet clean and dry. Shoes made of “breathable” material like leather are most recommended, as they will help prevent sweat buildup. Washing hands and trimming nails is another way to avoid infection as well.
People can also avoid walking barefoot in places like public restrooms and locker rooms and wash thoroughly after exercising or swimming in a lake or the ocean.
To browse fungal creams and other medical skincare products, visit Medical Supply Depot.