6 Different Types of Fungal Infections

Most fungi are harmless but some can cause infections

Fungi are tiny microorganisms that are common to the environment and can be found in just about any habitat. However, most fungi live in soil, air and water. Some fungi may be harmless, but others may cause infections and can be contagious too.

As tiny as they may seem, some fungi are harmful to humans and may cause an infection. For instance, Aspergillosis, a common mould that lives indoors and outdoors that can lead to life-threatening diseases. If you have a weak immune system, you are more likely to get a fungal infection.

Fungal infections are common and anyone can be affected by it, even people who are otherwise healthy. However, if you have a weak immune system, you may be at risk of developing fungal infections.

Types of fungal infections
There are countless fungal infections that can cause unwanted pain and discomfort. In this article, we highlight some of the most common types of fungal infections that affect your body in and out.

#1 Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Tinea pedis or commonly known as an athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the soles of your feet and often can be found in between your toes. At times, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, for instance, your nail, groin or hands. This type of fungal infection is common and grows in warm and moist environments, such as socks and shoes, sports equipment and locker rooms.

Anyone can be at risk of being infected by an athlete’s foot and not just athletes. The classic symptoms include:

  • Redness or blisters.
  • Infected skin may be soft.
  • Peeling or cracking skin.
  • Itching, stinging or burning sensations.

#2 Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)

Jock Itch is also known as tinea cruris is another type of fungal infection that affects the skin on your groin area, as well as the inner thighs and buttocks. Like the Athlete’s Foot, it’s caused by dermatophytes, a group of fungi that thrive in warm and humid areas.

This type of infection mostly affects men and adolescent boys, but women and girls can develop it too.

If you have the jock itch, you may experience:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation around the affected area
  • Flaking or cracking skin
  • Rashes that worsen when you exercise or move too much worse when
  • you exercise

#3 Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Contrary to its name, ringworms aren’t caused by worms. Instead, they’re a type of fungus infection that can cause a circular rash. The tell-tale sign of this condition is a red, scaly patch or bump that itches. The bump will then gradually transform into a circle-shaped patch.

Similar to Athlete’s Foot and Jock Itch, it is caused by dermatophytes. So, when you get it between your toes, it’s known as the Athlete’s Foot and if it spreads to your groin, then it’s called Jock Itch. Ringworm strives particularly in damp and humid parts of your body. Hence, it often appears on the skin including the scalp, fingernails or toenails.

Ringworm is a common and highly contagious fungal infection. It can spread through close contact with an infected person, animals or sharing of household items such as clothing, towels, comb and bedding.

As intimidating as the name may sound, it is not a serious condition and can typically be treated using antifungal cream.

#5 Yeast Infection

When it comes to yeast infection, many people think that it only affects the urinary tract or genital area. However, yeast infection is a type of fungus that can also infect other parts of your body such as the skin, mouth, as well as gastrointestinal tract.

One common yeast infection is called the Oral Thrush that infects your throat or mouth. People who undergo prolonged antibiotic therapy often develop this type of infection. Oral Thrush produces slightly raised, creamy white, sore patches in your mouth or on your tongue.

On the other hand, vaginal yeast infections are relatively common among women. They can cause pain, itchiness, white discharge, swelling and redness.

The treatment for each infection differ for individuals and it all depends on the severity of the condition. However, the common medications used are antifungal cream, ointments, gels, sprays, pills or mouthwash if you have Oral Thrush. If you have developed any signs or symptoms of a fungal infection, make an appointment with your doctor to treat the condition immediately before it worsens.

Sources: WebMD, Medical News Today