Any disease that is caused by fungus is known as fungal infection. In case you are suffering from yeast infection or athletes’ foot you can blame it on a fungus. A fungus is a primitive organism. Mold, mushrooms and mildew are examples. Fungi lives in soil, air, water or on plants. Some of it lives in human body too.
There are various types of fungi available and only about half of it is harmful. You will get fungi infection in case you have a week immunity system or take antibiotics. Some fungi are reproduced through tiny spores in the air. Either the spores can land on you or you can inhale the spores. As a result fungal infection often starts on the skin or in the lungs.
Common fungal skin infection includes:
- Athlete’s foot
- Nail infections
- Pityriasis versicolor
Fungal infection can also happen in other parts of the body like lungs. You may suffer from fungal infection in the lungs if you have weekend immunity system that is caused by conditions such as cancer, AIDS, chemotherapy and so on.
Causes of Fungal infection
Fungi usually attack those areas which are moist and where skin surfaces meet such as in the genital areas, between the toes, under the breast and so on. Most of the skin infections are caused by yeast such as Candida or dermatophytes such as Microsporum, Epidermophyton and Trichophyton. Most of the fungi live on the topmost layer of epidermis and do not penetrate deep.
Fungal skin infections are caused if you:
- Are overweight
- Don’t dry your skin fully after a bath or shower
- Touch contaminated items, such as towels, clothes, and bedclothes
- Come into contact with a person or animal with a fungal skin infection
- Have diabetes
- Walk barefoot in shower and pool areas
- Wear tight clothing that doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate
- Are pregnant
- Have recently taken a course of antibiotics
- Have a weakened immune system, for example, if you have HIV/AIDS
Causes of fungal lungs infection is the combination of weekend immunity system and exposure to Aspergillosis fungus.
Signs and Symptoms
Fungal skin infection symptoms usually depend on the type of fungus that is causing it and on which part of the body has the infection taken place. Often fungal rashes are confused with other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Fungal skin infection can cause skin rashes. While some may be red and itchy there are others which may produce a fine scale that is similar to dry skin. Fungus can either affect any particular area or several areas of your body.
Known symptoms of fungal lungs infection may include:
- A cough
- Pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in your urine
- Less urine
- Skin sores
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody phlegm
There are certain steps which if taken will not only reduce your risk of getting a fungal infection but also will help in not spreading any further:
- Dry your skin well after you have a bath or shower.
- Wash your clothes, socks and bed linen regularly to remove any fungi.
- Wear loose fitting clothes made of cotton, or a breathable material which is designed to keep moisture away from your skin.
- Wear clean plastic shoes, flip-flops in communal areas, such as saunas, showers and swimming pools.
- Alternate your shoes every two days to give them time to dry out.
- Don’t share hairbrushes, towels, and combs as they could be carrying fungi.
- If someone in your family has scalp ringworm soak hats, pillows, scissors or combs with bleach and water
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
- Improve your immunity by eating nutritious diet, doing exercise as well as taking medicines
Myths and facts
Myth: There is no way to avoid skin fungal infection
Fact: Skin fungal infection can be avoided by taking appropriate measure and maintaining basis hygiene.
Myth: It is quite difficult to treat skin fungal infection
Fact: Skin fungal infection can be treated effectively by visiting a good doctor and also by making life style adjustment.
Diagnosis of disease
While diagnosing a fungal skin infection, you doctor will ask you about the symptoms and will examine you thoroughly. You may even be asked about your medical history. Fungal infection will usually be diagnosed by looking at your skin and also by looking at the location of rash. The doctor may even take a fragment of your skin, hair or nail and send it for further investigation to a laboratory.
When diagnosing lungs disease you doctor would like to know about the various symptoms as well as medical history. He may also conduct some tests such as:
- Blood tests to check for antibodies, fungus molecules and allergens,
- A CT scan of your lungs
- A chest X-ray
- A sputum stain and culture to examine your bronchial mucus
Treatment for Fungal infection
Antifungal treatment can be done either by self help or by taking medicines.
- Make sure you dry the affected area of your skin properly after having a shower. One should be very careful about personal hygiene. It’s important to wash bedding, clothes, and towels quite often so as to get rid of the fungus. It is also advisable to wear loose fitting cotton garments to keep moisture away from the body.
- You will have to use antifungal medications in the form of lotion, cream, paints, medicated powders, and shampoos directly on the skin. These are known as tropical treatments. Your doctor may also prescribe you with some tablets if the rash covers a large area. The medicine course should be complete because there are chances of the infection returning back again.
Aspergillosis will be treated either by oral or intravenous antifungal drugs or you may be required to undergo surgery in extreme cases.
Steps to improve the health
- It is important to have knowledge about who is at risk of such infection and which part of your body may be infected.
- Always take proper care when in public places
- Keep you skin dry and clean always
- Boosting your immunity system will help in preventing many diseases
- Prevent current infection from spreading by adhering to safety practices
Always complete the full course of antifungal pills or apply creams regularly to affected areas and visit your doctor often to evaluate the progress of the infectio