What Is A Fungal Infection

In general, Fungal infection, also known as mycosis, is a skin ailment that develops due to your skin’s exposure to infectious fungi. When your skin comes in contact with the fungus, it gets affected and you might experience symptoms such as irritation, rashes, bumps, redness, itching, swelling, and blisters.

Fungi exist in millions of types, and they can get spread in the following ways:

  • Fungi can be present in the air, soil, and dust. One can get an infection due to the inhalation of fungi particles via air.   
  • Wet areas, like washrooms, toilets, etc. can contain fungi. Coming into contact with unhygienic spaces can make you prone to infection.     
  • Fungi can enter your body through an injury, wound, or cuts in the skin.
  • Some medications such as antibiotics can cause some fungi. That naturally exist in your body to grow abnormally.
  • Physical contact with an infected person can pass on the infection, as fungal infections are contagious. 

Different types of fungal infections

Not all fungi can contribute to skin infections, but a few of them can cause significant damage. Individuals with weaker immune systems are more susceptible to experiencing serious skin ailments due to exposure to fungi. Moreover, Those who are down with HIV, AIDS, immune system disorders, cancer, etc. are highly likely to develop severe skin conditions post-fungal infection. Therefore, such individuals need to be extra careful.

Given below are some types of fungal infections that are quite common:

  • Ringworm

The infection is termed so, as the skin after getting affected, develops a circular or ring-shaped rash. That turns red and causes skin irritation. It can produce a burning sensation, which can increase the itchiness. Along with skin, this type of infection can also affect the scalp. The fungi grow and thrive on moist and damp parts of the body.  


It all begins with a rash that turns reddish and starts becoming itchy and appearing scaly. It gradually spreads and forms a ring-like structure. Sometimes these rashes can become patchy and start to ooze. In case it appears on your scalp, the area where the rash occurs, it gives rise to bald patches.


This can be treated with the help of OTC antifungal creams or even powders can be helpful. Ringworm can be managed with the help of non-prescription options.

  • Athlete’s foot

Also known as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that appears between the toes. Individuals whose feet sweat a lot, especially after putting on shoes for hours, are highly likely to experience this fungal infection. Some fungi thrive on moist and humid parts of the body, and as the feet remain tightly enclosed within the shoes, it creates a favorable environment for the fungi to grow and cause an infection. It can cause itchiness and scaly rash.


The infection can happen between the toes. The area which is infected will start itching and burning. The skin may appear cracked or peeled as a result. 


For getting rid of this infection, you need to wash your feet first. Then you can apply antifungal products. Which come in the form of cream, ointment, gel, spray, and powder.

  • Jock itch

Also known as tinea cruris, jock itch usually appears around the groin and inner thighs. In some individuals, the groin area remains moist due to excessive sweating. When the individual wears tight clothes. That blocks the flow of air and increases the humidity in the areas such as buttocks, inner thighs, and genitals.   


The infection usually begins with a rash occurring in the crease of the groin and slowly it spreads to the thighs as well as buttocks. It can expand in the shape of a ring. It turns red, purple, or even brown in color. The rash can cause itching and scaly skin.  


Jock itch can be managed with prescription as well as non-prescription options. Application of antifungal cream, gel, ointment, spray, or powder can reduce the itching, and cure the rash.

  • Nail fungal infection

Onychomycosis or nail fungal infection affects the fingernails and toenails. It does not cause any pain or discomfort and is not serious at all.  


It can lead to discoloration, brittleness, thickening, and cracking of nails.


Onychomycosis can be treated with the aid of prescription antifungal medications.

  • Yeast infection

Moreover, This type of infection can happen in your skin, mouth, genitals, urinary tract, and gastrointestinal tract. The yeast responsible for causing infections stays inside your body in very small amounts. Sometimes they may grow uncontrollably, and their abnormal multiplication can give rise to yeast infection.  


With the infection happening around the mouth, skin, urinary tract, GI tract, and vagina, it can cause discomfort due to itchiness, swelling, redness, and pain.


Your doctor may prescribe treatment depending on the type of infection. In case the mouth is affected, they may suggest mouthwash and Lozenges. For skin infections, antifungal creams will be helpful. For rest, antifungal pills will do.   

The lowdown

Rashes due to such infections can cause discomfort. The treatment methods can be beneficial for alleviating itchiness, scaliness or roughness, and burning sensation to a great extent. Treatment methods used externally including creams, gels, ointments can produce a soothing and sensation, which can provide instant relief. Most of the infections will go away within a week or so. But if it persists, and you do not see any improvement, then it is necessary to see a dermatologist, to seek appropriate treatment.

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