Fungal infections of the skin guide

Fungal infections of the skin

What is it?

Different fungi, depending on their location on the body, cause ringworm. Ringworm is characterised by ring-shaped, red, scaly patches with clearing centers. There is an increased risk of contracting ringworm if a person:is malnourishedhas poor hygienelives in a warm climatehas contact with other persons or pets that have ringwormis immunocompromised by disease or medicationThe most common types of ringworm include the following:Jock itch (tinea cruris or groin ringworm)-  This condition is also more common in males and occurs more often during warm weather conditions. It is very rare in females. Symptoms of jock itch may include red, ring-like patches, pain and itching in the groin area. Treatment involves keeping the affected area clean and dry and applying topical antifungal medications. Jock itch usually responds to over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays.Athlete's foot (tinea pedis or foot ringworm) -  This common condition mostly affects teen and adult males. Contributing causes include sweating, not drying the feet well after swimming or bathing, wearing tight socks and shoes, and warm weather conditions. Symptoms of athlete's foot may include whitening of the skin between the toes, scaling of the feet, itchy rash and blisters on the feet. Athlete's foot is treated with topical antifungal medication in most cases. Severe cases may require oral medications. The feet must be kept clean and dry, as the fungus grows in moist environments.Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) - Scalp ringworm is highly contagious, especially among children. It occurs mainly in children between the ages of 2 to 10 years. It rarely occurs in adults. Symptoms of scalp ringworm include red, scaly rash on the scalp along with itching and hair loss. Ringworm of the scalp can also develop into a kerion, a large, tender lesion over the area of the initial ringworm. This is caused by a hypersensitivity to the ringworm and may be associated with a rash elsewhere and tender lymph nodes in the neck.Nail ringworm (tinea unguium) An infection of the finger or toe nail, characterised by a thickened, deformed nail. This condition more often affects the toenails than the fingernails. This occurs more often in adolescents and adults rather than young children. Symptoms of nail ringworm include thickening of the ends of the nails and a yellow colour to the nails.Body ringworm (tinea corporis) This skin infection is characterised by a ring-like rash anywhere on the body or the face. It occurs in all ages, but is seen more frequently in children. It is more common in warmer climates. The symptoms include red, circular lesion with raised edges. The middle of the lesion may become less red as the lesion grows and there is associated itching.Treatment for scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) may include an oral anti-fungal medication that is usually prescribed for four to eight weeks. This also involves the use of a special shampoo, to help eliminate the fungus. If a kerion is present (a large, tender, swollen lesion), additional medications, such as steroids maye be given to help reduce the swelling. Treatment for ringworm of the body, groin, and foot is usually a topical anti-fungal agent or an oral antifungal medication. The length of the treatment depends on the location of the ringworm. Because the fungi can live indefinitely on the skin, recurrences of ringworm are likely. Treatment may need to be repeated.

What are the types?

There are many types of fungal skin infections. Listed below are some: Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)Tinea infections (Ringworm)Tinea versicolor

DoctorNDTV Team

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