What Causes Fungal Infections

Fungal infections, also known as mycosis, are spread through your body’s exposure to contaminated soil, floor, food, water, air, or via skin contact with humans or animals. There are millions of species of fungi and many of them exist in your everyday environment. Not all of them are harmful, but a few of them can lead to serious infections.

The contributors to such infections can be viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi. Although they do not lead to life-threatening consequences, they cause diseases related to the skin, nails, scalp, or genitals. In this blog, we will see the reasons why one develops fungal infections – keep reading.  

Weakened immune system  

Individuals with a strong immune system need not worry too much, as, many of such infectious pathogens get killed off by a robust immune system response with gets activated almost immediately after sensing some foreign material in the blood. Individuals with autoimmune disorders, HIV, AIDS, and cancer are more prone to the ill effects of fungal infections.  

Those who have been hospitalized or had an organ or stem cell transplant also need to be very careful, because during such conditions the individual lacks the physical strength and their immunity drops significantly after treatments or due to the medicinal side effects.    

Change of environment  

A change in the environment can potentiate one’s risk of developing a fungal infection. Suppose you mostly remain indoors and barely go outside, but if you step out someday, you get exposed to the infectious pathogens of the environment. They can be anywhere, in fact, they are everywhere, for example, on the door handle of the grocery store, in the food, in the water, in the air, and so on.

You might breathe in the air that is contaminated with fungi spores. Your outdoor visits increase your exposure to infectious fungi and bacteria, and hence the chances of catching fungal infections.       

Proximity and touch

Some fungal infections can be transferred from one individual to the next through direct contact. Being in a public place increases one’s possibility of getting a fungal infection. If you shake hands with an infected person or stay in proximity to them, then your likelihood of developing the same infection is quite high.

Climate changes

Fungi are responsive to even minute changes in the ecosystem. They are sensitive to climate extremes. This is why the emergence of fungi and bacteria happens excessively during the slightest change in the environmental condition. A sudden and drastic change in the environmental conditions supercharges the fungal pathogens and turns them more aggressive.

Usually, a rise in the global temperature causes a surge in fungal infection outbreaks. Also, extreme events like drought and floods can boost the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Cuts and injuries

Sometimes, the skin, especially that that has a wound, cut, or an injury is prone to the attack of fungus. Fungi in the air or on any surface can enter the host through the injured area and lead to infection, which is why one needs to apply an antiseptic cream on the affected spot.

An outbreak of a new type of fungi

Outbreaks usually happen on very rare occasions. The introduction of a new type of fungi in the ecosystem can give rise to an epidemic, wherein the fungal infection affects a large group of people within a population, community, or religion. When the disease spreads across countries and continents, it is known as a pandemic.

When two or more people get infected from the same source, at the same time and place, then it can be considered an outbreak. This might happen in crowded places like ceremonial functions, hospitals, restaurants, etc. Timely detection and diagnosis can prevent the disease from spreading.

Prevention of fungal infection

Prioritize self-care and hygiene

You must have a bath at least once or twice a day. If you sweat a lot, then you must bathe twice. Sweat can potentiate the risk of fungal infections like jock itch or rashes. Bathing helps you to get rid of dirt from your body and eliminate the possibility of skin ailments.  

Wear clean clothes

After bathing, you must replace dirty clothes with clean ones every day. Get the dirty clothes washed and dried. Never reuse dirty clothes without washing them properly. Wash them with the help of a good quality disinfectant. Wear clean and tidy clothes regularly.

Do not walk barefoot

You must have your footwear on while walking on the bare ground. You must always wear your footwear in public places such as hospitals, gyms, etc. This will prevent the fungal infection from affecting your health in case of a foot injury or a cut. 

Stop wearing tight shoes or clothes

This can block the air to a particular area of your body and lead to excessive sweating. The dampness due to sweat can cause fungal infections which can spread rapidly. So, avoid wearing tighter shoes or uncomfortable clothes. 

Wash your hands several times

You never know what kind of infectious pathogen you have come into contact with through touch. Therefore, you must wash your hands several times a day. This will kill off the germs and eliminate the risk of infection. Make sure you use a good quality handwash.

The lowdown

One cannot simply avoid going out because of the fear of fungal infections. Even if you do not go out often, the environmental changes will enhance the risk of infections. These things are out of your control. All you can do is implement the steps to prevent the infections from affecting your health.

Besides, your immunity has a big role in keeping you protected against the attack of infectious pathogens. If you are having low immunity, then you need to look for ways to boost it, otherwise, your likelihood of developing fungal infections becomes high.   

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