Wednesday, October 20

Skin fungi: these are the most common types and their causes

What are mushrooms?

The skin fungus They are tiny microscopic beings with super powers. They can live in the air, on the ground, in water, and on plants. They are everywhere. There are millions of different species of fungi on Earth, of which about 300 can affect people, specifically their skin.

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Like many microbes, some are helpful and good, but others are not so helpful, quite the opposite. When the latter invade the body, they can be difficult to eliminate as they have a high survival rate and are also transmitted from one person to another.

It is calculated that between 20% to 25% of the population worldwide suffer from a fungal skin infection, hair or nails. Despite everything, these types of infections, very common, are not, in most cases, serious, as long as they are treated quickly and correctly.

Generally, these fungi settle in the upper layer of the epidermis and do not penetrate deeper.

How to know if it is a fungus on the skin?

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Dyschromia or alteration of skin pigmentation (white, red, or brown spots with raised, scaly edges)
  • It can cause alopecia in the form of patches on the scalp.
  • Pruritus.
  • Inflammation and irritation.
  • Onychomycosis.
  • Dermatophytosis or ringworm of the body.

What types of fungi are on the skin?

Common fungal skin infections are caused by yeasts, such as Candida, or dermatophytes, such as Microsporum and Trichophyton.

1. Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. It usually causes a red, itchy, ring-shaped rash. The fungi that cause this infection can live not only on the skin, but also on clothing such as towels. It is estimated that approximately nails 40 different species of fungi can cause ringworm.

In most cases, if we have ringworm we will notice itchy skin, a ring-shaped rash, and red and scaly skin. These symptoms usually appear between 4 and 14 days later that the skin has come into contact with the fungi. Also known as dermatophytosis, ringworm receives other names, depending on the area of ​​the body it affects:

  • Ringworm on the feet, or athlete’s foot: appears on the skin between the fingers, in most cases between the little finger and the side. Redness, swelling and itching appear. It can also affect the heel and sole of the foot.
  • Ringworm on the scalp: A kind of circular bald spot is usually seen on the head, scaly and itchy. Stains may also appear.
  • Jock itchLike the other types of ringworm, itching, red spots, and scales often appear, especially on the inner sides of the skin folds.

2. Nail infections

They can appear on the toenails and fingernails, giving them a paler color, more likely to break. Acquainted with the technical name for onychomycosis, this type of infection is not painful (except in the most severe cases). These fungi can penetrate the nails through small cracks in the nail or the surrounding skin.

Some conditions that increase the risk of these types of infections are having diabetes, a weakened immune system, or blood circulation problems. This type of infection will not go away without antifungal treatment, which in most cases is administered orally.

3. Candidiasis

This infection is caused by a yeast called Candida albicans, which lives inside the body, in places like the mouth, throat, vagina and skin without causing problems. Areas such as the anogenital area offer an ideal place for yeast to proliferate. The folds of the skin warm and moist, vagina or area Male genitalia are the areas that can be most affected.

Anyone can get a Candida infection, although some conditions increase the risk, such as people taking antibiotics, being treated for cancer, or having diabetes. In most cases, symptoms are usually vaginal itching, redness and pain, rash, scaling or white patches.

4. Pityriasis versicolor

Yeasts of the genus Malassezia they are part of the normal flora of human skin. However, they can also be associated with various diseases, such as pityriasis versicolor, a superficial infection that usually found on the neck and the upper arms.

Can yeast infections be prevented?

We have already seen that anyone can get a fungal infection. The damp, dirty and poorly ventilated areas of our body can become fertile ground for developing a superficial fungal infection. For this reason it is good to know what to do to prevent them.

  • Maintain proper general hygiene and clean and dry skin.
  • Keep your feet clean, cool and dry.
  • Do not walk barefoot in public places, such as showers or gym locker rooms.
  • Trim fingernails and toenails to keep them clean and short.
  • Wash hands after handling animals. If you think your pet may have ringworm, it is advisable to take him to the vet for treatment.

The different types of skin infections have in common that they can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even painful. Most are easy to identify and treat because they rarely pose a serious threat. But it is important for a doctor to analyze the infection to assess the best treatment.

What cream is good for skin fungus?

Cases of ringworm usually respond well to topical therapy, available in most cases as ointments, creams, or powders that are well tolerated. In few cases there are side effects such as mild skin irritation, burning or itching. These drugs are usually applied twice a day for two to four weeks, acknowledges the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

In cases where the infection is more extensive, oral therapy (griseofulvin or terbinafine) may be more advisable. In the case of ringworm of the scalpFor example, it is difficult for topical therapy to penetrate the hair shaft, hence oral therapy is more recommended. It is important to take (or apply) antifungal medications for the time prescribed by the dermatologist.

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