Fungal infections are common infections caused by pathogenic or occasionally pathogenic fungal species (when the right conditions, such as heat and humidity are found).
The most common forms of fungi are the following:
- Pityriasis versicolor and other diseases related to Pityrosporum sp. The disease is characterized by the appearance of brown and white speckled trunk lesions and affects healthy adult individuals. It may be accompanied by itching and exfoliation.
- Dermatophyte infections:
Tinea pedis (fungal infection of the foot) is a foot infection due to a dermatophyte fungus. It is the most common dermatophyte infection. When interdigital involvement is seen the condition is also known as athlete’s foot. Itching and redness on the sole or between the toes are present, usually followed by exfoliation.
Tinea capitis (fungal infection of the scalp) is caused by a superficial dermatophyte of the scalp that often affects children at the age of preadolescence. Dry scaling — like dandruff but usually with moth-eaten hair loss and black dots — the hairs are broken off at the scalp surface are often observed.
Tinea Incognito: Dermatophytic infection, the clinical picture of which is modified due to non-indicated use of local and systemic corticosteroids.
- Candidal skin infections include:
Oral candidiasis: It manifests with white lesions in the mouth or throat. They arise suddenly as an acute infection or persist for long periods as a chronic infection.
Candidiasis of the genital system: Fungal infections in the genital area (e.g . vaginitis, balanoposthitis). They manifest with white curd-like discharge, redness, burning sensation and itching in the area. Pain may be present during sexual intercourse or tingling in the urine is noted.
Intertrigo (skin fold infections): Overweight and/ or diabetic individuals are at increased risk of developing skin candidiasis in areas with excessive moisture such as skin folds below the breasts or under the abdomen, armpits and groin.
- Deep fungal infections are classified into subcutaneous and systemic affecting mainly the lungs and other organs where the skin manifestations are usually secondary but also primary after trauma.
- Onychomycosis manifests with deformities in the nails (thickening, discoloration, dystrophy)
When a fungal infection is suspected laboratory testing should be carried out to confirm the infection and identify the fungus. Treatment includes specific antifungal drugs which may be administered topically or systemically. The duration of treatment depends on the type of the infection.
It is very important to observe some simple measures to prevent fungi, such as:
For the athlete’s foot:
– Daily washing of the feet and dry feet and toes meticulously after bathing
– Use clean socks every time and change them when your feet are sweating.
– Use of cotton socks and leather shoes.
– In a summer, avoid wearing occlusive footwear
– Avoid sharing shoes, socks, towels with others.
– Avoid walking in public places (swimming pools, changing rooms, etc.)
- It is recommend the use of comfortable shoes.
- Avoid sharing towels.
- Avoid deep nail cutting.
- Disinfect nail tools (nail clippers) after each use.
For vulvovaginal candidiasis (vaginal thrush):
- Avoid intravaginal washes with antiseptics.
- Daily washing in the area with water and neutral soap and good drying afterwards.
- Always replace the wet bottom of the swimsuit immediately after bathing.
- On the beach, sitting or lying on a towel and not directly on the sand or on the sun lounger.
- Avoid sharing towels.
- Avoid using tight clothing.
- Use of cotton underwear
For oral candidiasis (oral thrush):
- Daily care of oral and dental hygiene.
- If there is an artificial denture, visit the dentist every 6 months.
- Avoid unreasonable use of antibiotics.
- Sugar regulation.
- Sterilization of the bottles.
- Good mouthwash after steroid inhalation or device change.