Fungal infections are caused by fungi. Fungi are ubiquitous in nature; they can be found in water, air, animals, plants, and soil. Just like other microbes, fungi can be both helpful and harmful to living organisms. When harmful fungi invade the human body to the extent that the immune system cannot handle, it leads to fungal infections. Fungi are very persistent since they can thrive in different conditions.
This article gives you information on who is at risk of contracting a fungal infection, different types of the infection, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and treated.
Fungal infections are very prevalent in humans, but they can be treated if discovered quickly, and the right treatment is administered. People who are on antibiotic medication and have a weak immune system are more likely to come down with a fungal infection. People who have diabetes and those undergoing cancer treatment are also at a higher risk of contracting a fungal infection.
There are different types of fungal infections, and each one has its symptom, but there are some symptoms common to all of them. They include
Candida can also lead to fungal toenail infection and diaper rash.
Symptoms for vaginal yeast infection include.
Yeast infections can become very severe if left untreated.
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Yeast infections are very easy to diagnose. A doctor will examine the cervix and vaginal wall for any sign of the infection; they will take cells from the vagina for further diagnosis by lab tests. The doctor may ask if the patient was on any antibiotics medication and for the patient’s sexual medical history to confirm if there has been a previous vaginal yeast infection or STIs.
Treatment for yeast infections includes cream, suppositories, or tablets sold over-the-counter, online or prescribed by a health professional. The severity of a yeast infection determines the type of treatment to be administered. Complex yeast infections would require more serious treatment than those listed above.
Yeast infection can be prevented by practising proper hygiene, eating balanced diets, washing underwear in hot water, using feminine that prevents the growth of fungi and wearing clothes made of natural fibres.
A doctor can identify a tinea cruris infection just by looking at the appearance of the infected parts of the body. A confirmatory test may be done by inspecting a skin sample.
Over-the-counter antifungal ointments can be used. The fungal infection can be killed by keeping the affected area clean and dry. In more severe cases of tinea cruris infection, a prescription may be needed from a doctor.
The areas of the feet affected are scraped off and examined under a microscope by a doctor to ensure that the infection is athlete’s foot. Itchy feet is not exclusive to the athlete’s feet; different types of fungi can cause athlete’s foot.
Over-the-counter antifungal ointments can be applied topically to affected areas, but in severe cases, oral medications may be prescribed by a doctor. Keeping the feet clean and dry can kill the fungus.
Ringworm is by red patches on the skin that itches or is scaly. The scales often turn into raised ring-shaped patches that spread over time. Inside the ring remains clear while outside become red, raised and bumpy.
You can prevent ringworm by practising good hygiene, keeping the skin dry and clean at all times, wearing footwear in public places and avoid sharing clothes and towels with people.
Other skin conditions look like ringworm, so a doctor has to confirm that an infection is a ringworm infection by taking a skin sample for close examination.
Treatment is administered depending on the severity of the infection. A doctor may prescribe medication for severe ringworm or creams and ointments bought over the counter or online can be used.
Fungal infections are very common and can be prevented by simply practising good hygiene. They can be easily treated with over-the-counter creams and ointments, but severe infections need additional prescriptions from a doctor.