Types of Fungal Infections

Feb 20 08:32 2008 Pawel Reszka Print This Article

Discover more about Fungal Infections and how to prevent them.

Fungi are multi-celled plants that are parasitic. For example,Guest Posting most everyone realizes that a mushroom is a fungus. In the human body, fungi that cause infections are very small. There are beneficial fungi in the body, but often the parasitic fungi cause unpleasant symptoms. Fungi can be found on or in most parts of the body. Here are a few of the common areas where fungal infections can be found.

Skin Fungal Infections

The common types of skin fungal infections include athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm, face fungus and tinea versicolor. The various types of skin fungi live on the dead surface of the skin in the warm and moist areas of the body. Both mold type and yeast type fungus can grow on the skin. Probably the most common type of skin fungal infection is known as athlete's foot. This infection is more common amongst men than women and most often appears between the fourth and fifth toes. Candida is also known as a yeast infection and is common amongst women in the vaginal area. It can also appear as tiny cuts and cracks at the corners of the mouth. Treatment is by scrupulous attention to skin care and use of an anti fungal cream. Yeast infections are often helped by promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in the intestinal tract.

Nail Fungal Infections

Fungal infections at the nail beds appear with pain, swelling, pus and a nail that becomes white or yellow and separates from the skin. This may be caused by injury to the nail itself which allows the fungus to get between the nail and the underlying skin. Another common cause of nail fungal infections is ill fitting shoes that press the toenails up and away from the nail bed.

Hair Fungal Infections

Hair fungal infections are often found in children and should be treated aggressively to prevent permanent hair loss. The symptoms include yellowish crusty areas, abscesses, black dots on the scalp where the hair shaft is broken off at the skin level, and inflammation. There may also be dry scaly patches on the scalp. The lymphatic system may be involved with swelling or enlargement at the neck. Those with pets such as dogs or cats will sometimes contract a fungus known as M. Canis causing scaly patches. Treatment for hair fungal infection is through the use of anti fungal shampoos. Orally, griseofulvin taken internally for 8-10 weeks is recommended for adults.

Fungal infections in the lungs

The name aspergillosis refers to a fungal infection in the lungs. The fungus is fairly common in air vents, compost heaps and airborne dust. The fungus attacks the open space found in the body. If a person has had lung diseases that caused cavities in the lungs, the fungus may appear there as a small ball of fungus fibers, blood clots and white blood cells. The ball grows to fill the space and will destroy lung tissue, but usually doesn't expand beyond the lungs.

Fungal infections in the nervous system

Fungal infections which affect the central nervous system are very serious. Examples are Cryptococcal meningitis and histoplasmosis, Meningoencephalitus, a brain abscess or a spinal epidural infection. These fungal infections must be treated even more aggressively than the others due to the impact on bodily functions. Ketoconazole is a recommended treatment for fungal infections of the central nervous system.

Thrush fungal infection

A fungal infection of the mucous membranes of the mouth is commonly known as thrush. Oral thrush or Candida is a yeast type fungal infection which commonly follows a change in the chemical balance in the mouth so that Candida is favored over the other micro-organisms in the mouth. This is often due to taking antibiotics or chemotherapy. It can also be a result of immune deficiency diseases such as AIDS. Babies and those who wear dentures are particularly at risk for thrush. It manifests as small white, yellow or cream-colored spots in the mouth which can be scraped off, leaving bleeding areas beneath. Treatment for oral thrush involves treating the underlying cause, such as ill-fitting dentures, adjusting diabetes treatment and sometimes oral treatment using anti fungal medications. Lozenges or oral suspensions are often utilized for localized treatment.

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Pawel Reszka
Pawel Reszka

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