Overview of fungal infection
A fungal infection, also called a mycosis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus. There are millions of types of fungi. They live in dirt, on plants, on household surfaces, and on your skin. Sometimes, it can lead to skin problems such as rashes or bumps.
What causes fungal infection?
Different types of fungi cause a variety of fungal infection:
- Fungi called tinea pedis cause jock itch and ringworm.
- Most yeast infections, such as vaginal thrush and fungal gastroenteritis, are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Fungi can also cause fungal infections in the lungs due to inhalation of fungal spores.
Certain factors or conditions can lead to an overgrowth of fungi in the body. These include:
- Take antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill “healthy” bacteria in the body, as well as disease-causing bacteria. When antibiotics kill healthy bacteria, the normal balance of microorganisms in the mouth, vagina, intestines, and elsewhere in the body changes, leading to an overgrowth of Candida albicans or other fungi.
- Weak immune systems due to certain conditions, such as HIV / AIDS, a steroid medication, or chemotherapy.
- You have a weakened immune system due to certain conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, transplant recipients, or taking steroid medications or chemotherapy.
- High blood sugar due to diabetes, which provides nourishment for Candida albicans and encourages their overgrowth.
- Yeast infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby during vaginal delivery or breastfeeding.
Fungal infection symptoms
May cause fungal infection:
- Scaly skin
Fungal infection diagnosis
- Culture and assay sample
- Blood tests
If doctors suspect a primary fungal infection, they ask people questions that can aid in the diagnosis, such as the following:
- Where they traveled and lived to determine if they were exposed to a specific fungus, possibly years ago
- Whether they are taking any medications that can suppress the immune system
- Whether they have a disorder of a weak immune system
Then doctors take a sample to be cultured in a laboratory (cultured) and examined under a microscope. The sample may be sputum or blood, but sometimes, doctors must take a sample from the lungs. To take a sample from the lungs, doctors insert a flexible viewing tube (bronchoscope) through the mouth and into the airways. The liquid is pumped through the tube, then suctioned back into the tube, carrying cells and any fungi (or other microorganisms) with it. Sometimes a biopsy or surgery is necessary to obtain a sample.
On the off chance that the conclusion is indistinct, blood tests might be finished. These tests check for antibodies (which a person’s immune system produces in response to foreign substances, including fungi), antigens (particles of foreign substances that can trigger an immune response in the body), or any other evidence of the presence of the fungus.
Tests that reveal the genetic material in microorganisms are also done for some fungal infections.
Intricacies of fungal infection can be hazardous for individuals with debilitated resistant frameworks, for example, those with HIV/AIDS or those taking steroid prescription or chemotherapy. In these cases, fungal infections can spread all through the body, causing contagious diseases in crucial organs, for example, the heart and cerebrum. This could lead to serious, life-threatening complications, such as:
- Abscess formation
- Organ failure
- Transplant rejection
Seek urgent medical care if you have symptoms of fungal infection and have diabetes or HIV/AIDS, are being treated with chemotherapy, or are taking steroid medications.
Fungal infection treatment
Antifungal medications treat fungal infections. They can either directly kill the fungus or stop it from growing and thriving. Antifungal medications are available as over-the-counter or prescription medications, and they come in a variety of forms, including:
- Creams or ointments
If you suspect you have a fungal infection of the skin, you may want to try an OTC product to see if it helps clear the condition. In severe or persistent cases, your doctor may prescribe a stronger antifungal medication to help treat the infection.
In addition to taking over-the-counter antifungals, there are some things you can do at home to help get rid of a yeast infection. These include:
- Keep the affected area clean and dry
- Wear baggy attire or shoes that permit your skin to relax
Fungal infections are common in humans and are usually not very dangerous if treated quickly and properly. Anyone with a weakened immune system may be at greater risk of developing a fungal infection, as will anyone taking antibiotics. Treating cancer and diabetes may make a person more likely to develop a fungal infection.
Try to keep the following tips in mind to help prevent getting a fungal infection:
- Make sure to practice good hygiene.
- Do not offer garments, towels, or other individual things.
- Wear clean garments each day, particularly socks and clothing.
- Choose clothes and shoes that breathe well. Avoid clothing or shoes that are too tight or too restrictive.
- Make sure to dry it properly with a clean and dry towel after showering, bathing, or swimming.
- Wear sandals or slippers in locker rooms instead of walking barefoot.
- Wipe down common surfaces, such as gym equipment or mats.
- Stay away from animals that show signs of a fungal infection, such as loss of fur or frequent scratching.
Most fungal infections can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription creams. Severe infection may require additional methods. Taking preventive measures can go a long way toward avoiding fungal skin infections, too.
It is always best to notify a doctor at the first sign of infection to avoid potentially serious complications. By working directly with a doctor, most cases of fungal infection can be treated easily.