You encounter fungi in your everyday environment. Basically, they are everywhere. There are millions of species of fungi that exist around the world. You simply cannot avoid coming into contact with them. From your mobile screen to the air that you breathe, fungi can be found anywhere. Even if they enter your body, most of them do not cause any harm.
But there are indeed some types of fungi that can cause significant damage to your skin, nails, or scalp. Not only do they affect the outer surface of your body, but also your mouth, throat, urinary tract, lungs, or genitals. The reason for fungal infections varies among individuals.
Immune system disorders
A weak immune system is the primary cause of any infectious diseases. When you have any disorder related to your immune system, it will affect your body’s mechanism of protecting itself against the attack of infectious pathogens. In the absence of a robust immune system response, your body is more susceptible to life-threatening diseases caused due to infectious viruses and bacteria.
When you fall sick more often than others, then it is necessary to get yourself checked by your doctor. Having low immunity for a prolonged duration can be an indication of some serious health conditions like autoimmune diseases, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Such disorders impact your body’s ability to safeguard itself against harmful pathogens.
Individuals who are getting hospitalized may have a risk of experiencing infections linked to the bloodstream. Some devices and equipment used in hospitals for examining the condition of the patient may be contaminated with fungus. Hospitals and healthcare units increase an individual’s risk of catching a fungal infection. Unsterilized hospital equipment, contaminated air, or water, dirty or dusty floors, an unhygienic environment, etc. might get you a fungal infection.
Kind of environment you are exposed to
Your environment can have different species of infectious pathogens. They can contact your body in many ways. You may inhale the fungi spores that are present in the air. Or the soil you are walking on has some fungi that come into contact with your body. The temperature difference can also cause the pathogens to thrive. Thus, your environment plays a big part in getting you a fungal infection.
Medicinal side effects
Some medications such as antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs can lead to side effects. Antibiotic drugs can potentiate the risk of infection, especially among women. It can cause vaginal candidiasis, which is a yeast infection that affects the vagina. Besides, chemotherapy drugs can lead to the weakening of the immune system, which makes the individual more susceptible to all kinds of infectious diseases.
You have recently moved or shifted
When you change your location, your body gets exposed to a completely different kind of environment. Initially, your body might take a long time to adjust to the new environment. It might be sensitive to pathogens, which can affect an individual in many ways.
You are surrounded by animals
Some fungal infections can be spread through animals. Contact with stray animals can transfer infectious pathogens to the person. Pet animals such as dogs and cats are major carriers of infections and as they roam all around the house, they transfer the infectious pathogens to all objects and surfaces, thereby contaminating the whole house.
Physical proximity to an infected individual
An individual suffering from fungal infections can easily spread the disease to another, through touch, proximity, or physical contact. Sometimes the infected individual may even show the symptoms, as the infectious bacteria remain dormant in them, but the bacteria can still get passed on to another individual in many ways.
Effective ways to prevent fungal infections
- Maintain proper hygiene – Bathe at least once a day. If you tend to sweat a lot, then it is necessary to bathe twice a day. Wash your hands frequently. Use sanitizer to disinfect your hands in public places. Lastly, wear clean and tidy clothes, and do not repeat dirty clothes without washing them.
- Be comfortable – Avoid wearing tight clothing or shoes. This can block the air in a particular area, leading to sweating. This creates a humid environment, which is favorable for fungi growth. So, wear breathable clothes and footwear.
- Cut your nails – Keep your nails short and tidy. Do not allow any dirt to get accumulated in them. The dirt might enter your mouth while eating, and in this way, the bacteria find their way inside your body.
- Do not share your items – Stop sharing your personal items such as towels, clothes, shoes, combs, etc. with anyone. This will increase your chances of catching infections.
Undoubtedly, the infectious pathogens that lead to fungal infections are contagious. They may or may not be aggressive. They might get spread through air, water, soil, touch, or through food. Most of the time, the body effectively eliminates the risk of infection by killing off infectious pathogens in time.
For this, your immune system must be in a healthy state, which causes foreign particles such as fungi to get destroyed as soon as they enter the host body. But the opposite happens in individuals that have weak immune systems. Such people need to be really careful.
Lastly, incorporating some prevention strategies can be helpful in reducing the possibility of fungal infections. One must implement them and make such strategies a part of their lifestyle.