Skin Fungal Infections

Overview of Skin Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are the most common infections all over the world. In humans, when fungus invades the specific area of the body causes skin fungal infections.
Fungi are a naturally occurring species that live in the air, soil, water, plants, and as well as in the human body. In our body, there are two types of microbes that are good and bad fungus. A good fungus is a need of the body, but a bad fungus is a harmful one that invades the body's immune system to cause serious disease.
A fungal infection is also referred to as mycosis, as the fungus acting on the skin is called skin fungal infection. These microscopic organisms on the skin do not cause any infection until and unless it penetrates to the skin through lesion or cut and multiplies faster than normal.
Typically, fungi live in a warm and humid environment that's why it is present in sweaty or damp areas of the body which include the feet, groin, and folds of skin. It causes scaly rash, itchiness or discoloration of the skin.

Prevalence of Skin Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are the most affected in all age groups, especially suffering more in older people than other groups of people. Globally, people suffering from skin and nails infection is about 20-25% from the last few decades in the general population. When it attacks different areas of the body it may cause frequent forms of infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Fungal Infections

Some general symptoms that may result in a skin fungal infection

  • Irritation
  • Scaly skin
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Blisters

Types of Skin Fungal Infections

Causes of Skin Fungal Infections

Skin fungal infections are caused by different types of fungus that live either in the environment or on the external surfaces of your hair, nails etc. Too much fungal growth can result in skin infections.


Risk Factors of Skin Fungal Infections

Certain factors affect the people that can increase the risk of skin fungal infections, including:

  • The warm or wet environment
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Wet or unclean skin
  • Used items like clothing, shoes, towels, or bedding
  • Tight clothing or footwear
  • Involving in activities that may increase the frequent skin-to-skin contact
  • Contact with infected animals
  • Due to the weakened immune system due to immunosuppressant drugs, cancer treatment, or conditions such as HIV



Below are the beneficial steps are taken to prevent the people from fungal skin infections:

  • Provide good hygienic conditions.
  • Avoid sharing clothing, towels, or other personal items.
  • Make sure the clothing is clean and change it on a daily basis, particularly socks and underwear.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes and open shoes helps to prevent the fungus from thriving.
  • A person should dry himself with a dry towel after bathing or swimming.
  • Avoid walking with bare feet.
  • Clean the touched surfaces from disinfectants such as gym equipment or mats.
  • Keep the distance from infected animals and they may have signs of having fungal infections such as missing fur or frequent scratching.


Dermatologists examine the affected area visually. After inspection, they ask some questions regarding the disease and find the exact cause of skin fungal infections.
Another technique of diagnosis is skin scrapings, in which a small fragment of affected skin by fungus scrapes off, and examines the scrapings under a light microscope. Put the extracted culture in a culture medium where the specific kind of fungus grows and determines.

Treatment of Skin Fungal Infections | When to Consult a Doctor

The best way to treat fungal skin infections is antifungal medications. These drugs treat the inflammation in two ways whether they kill fungi directly or stop them from growing and thriving.

Availability of antifungal drugs in a variety of forms such as OTC treatments or prescription medications including:

  • Creams or ointments
  • Pills
  • Powders
  • Sprays
  • Shampoos

If the symptoms become severe, then the dermatologist prescribes a stronger antifungal drug to kill the fungal infection.

Some effective antifungal drugs are being used for fungal skin infection treatment:

  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex)
  • Miconazole (Micatin, Monistat-Derm)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox, itraneu )
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Along with taking an OTC or prescription antifungals, there are some measures that a person needs to follow at home to prevent the skin from the fungal infections that are:

  • Make sure the affected area is clean and dry
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing or shoes

Note: Do not take any medications without doctor’s consultation.
In case you exhibit any signs and symptoms of skin fungal infections consult a medical professional as soon as possible.