The human body is covered with billions of microorganisms. While most are harmless, a few can cause disease. Fungal infections are caused by microscopic fungi that infect the body. Fungi live outdoors in soil and on plants and trees as well as on many indoor surfaces and on human skin. Most fungi are not dangerous, but some types can be harmful to health.
Top 10 Worst Places for Fungal Infections
1. The shower stall
2. Nail salons (including pedicure spas)
3. Gym mats and workout equipment
4. Upholstered furniture (especially old sofas)
5. Dogs (especially little Yorkies, Maltese and Chihuahuas)
6. Your car’s air conditioning vents
7. The carpeting & upholstery in your car
8. Your bedding, including mattress pad/covers, pillows/pillow covers, blankets and sheets
9. Carpeting in general (especially if it’s wall-to-wall)
10. The kitchen sponge
1. Feet: Athlete’s foot most commonly occurs in moist places, like the bottom of your feet, especially between your toes. This is why fungal infections here are so common! You can prevent athlete’s foot by wearing sandals around public pools or showers, keeping your feet dry as much as possible, and applying antifungal cream daily to prevent its spread.
2. Nails: Fungal infections in your nails can be painful and unsightly. While they occur most often in the toenails, they can also occur in the fingernails. They are usually characterized by thickened, brittle nails that may separate from the nail bed. To prevent this from happening to you, wear shower shoes when you go to pools or public showers/bathrooms. You can also keep them trimmed and use antifungal cream if you notice any discoloration or thickening of the nails.
3. Armpits: Another common place for fungal infections is under your arms! Yeast infections thrive in warm, moist areas of the body which makes it easy for them to grow under your arms. To prevent yeast infections here, try using an antiperspirant deodorant instead of an antiperspirant/deodor
1. Groin Area: Jock itch is a fungal infection that appears in the groin area, as well as the inner thighs and buttocks. Typically, those who are athletic and sweat frequently are at higher risk of developing jock itch. It is also highly contagious and can spread through skin-to-skin contact, so it is important to prevent this type of infection by keeping your groin area clean and dry. If you do develop jock itch, use an antifungal cream to treat it immediately.
2. Feet: Athletes foot is another common fungal infection that occurs on the feet, typically between the toes. It is also highly contagious and can be prevented by wearing sandals or flip flops around public places where there could be a lot of bacteria present. To treat athletes foot if it does occur, use an antifungal cream for a week until symptoms disappear.
3. Scalp: A fungus called Malassezia can infect your scalp, causing oily dandruff called seborrheic dermatitis. To prevent this from occurring, wash your hair regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione.
4. Mouth: This fungus tends to thrive
Fungal infections of the feet are very common, especially in people whose feet sweat profusely and who wear restrictive shoes (i.e., closed-toed shoes). Wearing shoes without socks is also a common risk factor for getting a fungal infection of the feet as this creates a “dark, warm, moist” environment that fungi thrive in. The most common symptom of a fungal infection on the feet is itching, flaking, or peeling skin between the toes. The skin may also become red and inflamed.
Although you can treat most fungal infections on your own (using an antifungal cream), you should see your doctor if the rash is severe or spreading rapidly.
Fungi live in soil, on plants and in water. They are usually harmless but can cause problems if they start growing out of control. A fungal infection (mycosis) occurs when a fungus enters the body through an open wound such as a cut or scratch, through the skin or by inhaling microscopic airborne spores. There are many different types of fungi that can affect the human body and each type prefers to grow in a different part of the body. Fungal infections are often named for the part of the body where they occur, such as tinea on the feet (athlete’s foot) or onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the nails).
Here is a list of some common types of fungal infections:
-Dermatophytosis [eg. ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch]
-Onychomycosis [eg. nail infections]
1. Groin Area
Infections of the groin area, also known as jock itch or tinea cruris, are very common and usually caused by a fungus called trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus is also responsible for athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and ringworm (tinea corporis). Jock itch can affect both men and women and occurs more frequently in people who sweat a lot, wear tight fitting clothes and/or have weakened immune systems. It is characterized by an itchy, red rash that is often worse on the outer thighs and groin folds. The rash may look like blisters or pustules if you scratch it too much. If you think you have this infection, see your doctor as soon as possible because it can be contagious. He/she may prescribe topical antifungal creams or oral medication depending on the severity of the infection.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is one of the most common fungal infections affecting the feet. It usually develops between the toes, but can occur on any part of the foot including the sole and sides of the feet. It causes dryness or inflammation between toes or on other parts of your feet which
Antifungal cream is a topical medication used to treat fungal infections. It can be found over the counter (OTC) in most pharmacies.
Antifungal creams are also used to treat ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and nail fungus.