5 types of skin fungi

Fungal skin infections can be irritating and embarrassing too. Fungi thrive in moist areas of the body such as arm pits, genital area, between the toes and under the breasts. These fungi live only on the epidermis, the topmost layer of the skin. Dermatophytes, the fungi causing skin infection feast on the skin protein Keratin. Skin infections are seen more in obese people as they have excessive skin folds. These infections are contagious and can spread through humans, animals or the environment.

Following are five common types of fungi that attack the skin:

  1. 1.Tinea pedis

Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot is the most common form of skin fungus. It mostly affects athletes or sports people who continuously wear athletic shoes. The fungus thrives mainly in between the toes as these areas remain warm and moist with perspiration. Usual symptoms are blisters, lesions, itching and scaling of skin. Inorder to prevent recurrence of infection, maintain proper hygiene of feet.  

  1. 2.Candida

Candida (yeast) mainly affects mouth and genital areas. These fungi may also affect other moist parts. The infected area will display red rashes with bumps and lesions. The rash may also spread to other areas of the body. The infection is often termed as Candidiasis.

  1. 3.Tinea cruris

Jock itch or tinea cruris usually affects men more than women. This infection is characterized by rash and itching around the groin, anus or inner thighs. The infected area may develop scales or blisters. Use of public showers and locker rooms can increase chances of getting jock itch. Jock itch and athlete’s foot can occur at the same time.

  1. 4.Tinea corporis

Tinea corporis affects the body trunk and extremities. This infection is also termed as ‘ringworm’ as it displays a ring shaped rash. This condition is more common in women than in men. The fungus can spread through animals, clothes or other objects. Severe cases may display red pustular lesions and patches.

  1. 5.Tinea versicolor

Tinea versicolor affects upper body parts like chest and back. It may also affect other parts such as neck and arms. These fungi cause small spots on skin which develop into patches making the skin discoloured. The fungi affect oily parts of the skin causing itching and flaking. The infection may take a few weeks to go away.

All fungal skin infections can be treated with antifungal creams/lotions.  Consult a dermatologist if symptoms are severe.

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