Fungal Skin

Fungal Skin

What is Fungal Skin?

Fungal skin is an infection of the skin caused by dermatophytes fungi and can occur in any part of the body. Fungal skin infections of the foot, widely referred to as “athlete’s foot” or “foot rot“, are medically termed tinea pedis and are a very common skin condition of the foot. Patients with tinea pedis will often complain of itch, dry flaky skin or even tiny blisters on the affected areas.

Fungal Skin Signs and Symptoms

Causes of Fungal Skin

Fungal skin infections are opportunistic infections, which means that will infect when given the right conditions and environment. Infection typically starts from direct contact and other risk factors play a part in allowing the infection to manifest.

Risk factors of fungal skin include:

  • Hot and humid environment (e.g sweaty feet, enclosed footwear)
  • Poor foot hygiene
  • Immunocompromised individuals (e.g diabetes, steroidal therapy, transplant patients)
  • Poor blood circulation to the foot (e.g peripheral vascular disease)
  • Existing fungal infections in other parts of the body (e.g fungal nails)

Signs and Symptoms of Fungal Skin

Signs and symptoms of fungal skin infections include:

  • Itch
  • Redness over the affected area
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Moist whitish-discoloured skin in-between toes
  • Tiny red spots (petechiae) over the affected area
  • Multiple tiny blisters or pustules

Are Fungal Skin Contagious?

Yes, fungal skin infections are potentially contagious. They can spread to other parts of the body or another person when given the right conditions. Fungal skin infections often spread to the nails as well, causing fungal nails and vice versa.

Fungal Skin Treatment

Fungi are stubborn microorganisms and early detection and treatment often yield the best outcome quickly. Treatment for fungal skin infections involves treating the infected area and addressing any contributing factors of the condition.

Treatment options include:

  • Topical antifungal ointment or cream
  • Applying antifungal powder when wearing enclosed footwear
  • Oral antifungal medications for severe infections
  • PACT therapy may be considered for stubborn infections

Fungal Skin Prevention

Fungal skin infections can be difficult to treat, therefore prevention is important.

These are the steps you can take to prevent fungal skin infections:

  • Ensure good foot hygiene
  • Clean and dry your feet completely after showering or swimming
  • Avoid sharing footwear with other
  • Clean your enclosed footwear regular
  • Always make sure the footwear is dry before wearing
  • Change socks daily
  • Apply foot powder if you have sweaty feet

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