Our skin can sometimes fall prey to fungal skin infections. These are infectious and can spread to other family members, unless rigorous hygiene is practised. These fungal infections can occur on the skin of almost any part of the body, including:
Nails: which can suffer from onychomycosis, which causes the nail to thicken and lift from the nail bed. It is known to affect elderly people, with up to 20% of sixty-year olds and up to fifty percent of seventy-year olds suffering from it.
Chest or Back: which is where pityriasis versicolour (also known as tinea versicolour) appears, showing as a mottled brown and white discolouration which can also make your skin in the affected area quite flaky.
Head and Scalp: tinea capitis is also called ‘ringworm of the scalp‘. It is a fungal infection, not a worm, despite the name, and is very common in children. Each lesion is roundish with well-demarcated edges, and it can be very itchy.
Feet; Between the Toes: tinea pedis is better known as athlete’s foot and takes the form of itching, flaking skin. It is often caused by wearing close-fitting shoes while exercising, which creates a warm, sweaty environment in which the fungus thrives.
Groin: Most commonly known as jock itch, tinea cruris, is a red itchy and painful rash that appears around the inner thighs, the gluteal cleft and groin. Similar to athlete’s foot, it is thought to be caused by becoming warm and sweaty, such as during exercise. Conditions like diabetes, obesity or a weakened immune system can make people more prone to it.
Diagnosis of fungal infections is usually fairly simple: many medical professionals can do so with a visual examination of the afflicted area, although some conditions may need a swab to be taken to ensure that it is not a bacterial infection with similar presentation.
Treatments for fungal infections of the skin include topical creams, which must be applied for several weeks, until after the visible infection has cleared up.
If you have any worries about fungal skin infections, the best course of action is to book in and see a qualified dermatologist who can then provide you with the best possible treatment path that has been adapted to your skin.