Symptoms And Treatment For Fungal Infection}

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Skin Treatment

Submitted by: Kapal Bhati

Fungi is a group of organisms that include microscopic ones, like, yeast and mold, as well as bigger ones like, mushrooms. Various types of fungus are present on and inside the human body and most of them are beneficial. However, an overgrowth of beneficial fungi as well as presence of harmful fungi can both result in fungal infections, that can affect different body parts and can manifest themselves as infectious diseases. The symptoms of fungal infection differs with the affected body part and the causal agent. Scroll down to know more about fungal infection symptoms.

Symptoms of Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are divided into three types – superficial, systemic and opportunistic. Superficial fungal infections are very common and occur on the skin and mucous membranes of the body. There are various types of superficial fungal infections. This type of fungal infection is not considered to be life threatening, but may affect the quality of life and sometimes become a systemic disease and disorder. Some of the superficial fungal infections may also spread to other people. Unlike the first category, systemic fungal infections affect the organs inside the body as the fungus enters the blood stream.

This type is more severe, as compared to the first category and can be life threatening. The third type, called opportunistic fungal infections affect those with weak immune system and can be either superficial or systemic. These three categories have many sub-categories, which are classified on the basis of the affected body part and the type of fungus. The following are some of the most common types of infections caused by fungi, along with their various fungal infection symptoms.

Fungal Infections on Skin and Nails

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There are different types of fungal skin infections, like, ringworm, tinea versicolor, jock itch, athlete’s foot, etc. Fungus prefers the warm and moist areas of the skin and both molds and yeasts are found to affect the skin. Among the various types of fungal skin infections, athlete’s foot or Tinea pedis is the most common one and affects both men and women alike. It affects the web spaces between the toes and the skin of that part becomes soggy and itchy. It can turn pale and scaly too. Jock itch or ringworm of the groin (Tinea cruris) causes red rashes in the groin area.

These scales can be itchy and are commonly found in men who sweat a lot. Ringworm of the body or Tinea corporis is mostly seen in exposed areas, like, limbs and abdomen. These red rashes have scaly edges that surround clear skin. Ringworm of the scalp is otherwise known as Tinea capitis, which causes patches on the scalp with hair loss and swelling of that area. Fungus on skin includes nail fungus infections (onychomycosis) and ringworm of the nails or Tinea unguium is the most common one. This condition makes the nails thick and crumbly. Read more on ringworm in humans and toenail fungus.

Fungal Yeast Infections

Yeast is a type of fungus that is the causal agent of various fungal infections. Fungal infection of the mouth or oral thrush is characterized by a white coating of the tongue, inner cheeks, gums and tonsils. This coating, when scraped, may bleed and may also cause pain. Oral thrush is caused by Candida albicans fungus. This fungus may affect the esophagus and the intestines too. Candida albicans can also affect the mucous membrane of the vagina and the fungal infection symptoms in this case includes itchiness and thick white discharge, along with painful urination. In case of men, it causes painful red rashes on the tip of the penis. Read more on candidiasis and yeast infection treatment.

Fungal Infections of Internal Organs

Apart from the above mentioned types of fungal infections, there are many other types that affect the brain, lungs, etc. Fungal meningitis causes inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord and is caused by a fungus called Cryptococcus. Even though the fungal infection symptoms vary from one person to another, the most common ones are headaches, drowsiness, and confusion.

Another fungus, called Aspergillus, which is a mold, causes bloodstream infections in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. Other fungal infections include coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever, blastomycosis, fungal arthritis, fungal sinus infection, histoplasmosis that affects vision, mucormycosis characterized by pain, fever, infection of eye socket, nasal discharge, etc. Read more on fungal infection in lungs and fungal ear infection.

Treatment for Skin Fungal Infections

Depressed immune system, use of antibiotics or corticosteroids and medical conditions like diabetes are predisposing factors for fungal infections. While treating fungal infections, you need to stop use of corticosteroids or antibiotics and control your diabetes. Treating the weakened immune system is important, in order to work the anti-fungal treatment effectively. Skin fungal infections are treated with anti fungal creams and medications.

Infected area should be kept dry and clean and scratching should be avoided. Use of mild hydrocortisone cream may prove beneficial to relieve itching. New broad-spectrum antifungals recommended for treating skin fungal infections are terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole. Medications and therapy regimen are selected on the basis of types and extent of infection. If fungal infection progresses to bacterial infection, then antibiotics are recommended. However, before you opt for any kind of treatment option, it is necessary to seek your doctors advice.

Now, you have some information about the various fungal infection symptoms associated with the different types of infections. Early diagnosis and treatment is very much important to prevent spread of infection and to get relief from the symptoms.

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