Fungal infections result from an overgrowth of fungus on the skin. Fungal infections can occur on any part of the body and can present with various symptoms depending on the body location where the infection is present. One type of fungal infection is referred to as “ringworm.” Ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus, receiving its name because of its characteristic appearance on the skin as a ring. Another name for ringworm is tinea corporis if it occurs on the body or tinea capitis if it occurs on the scalp. Symptoms of these types of fungal infections include itchy, red patches, often with well-defined, scaly edges. Other types of fungal infections include tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) and onychomycosis (toenail or fingernail fungus). Yellowing, darkening, or thickening of the nail often characterize onychomycosis.
Fungal Infection Treatment Options
Many treatments exist for fungal infections, varying from topical antifungal creams or solutions to oral antifungal medications. Your provider is able to identify a fungal infection usually by the appearance of an infection and appropriately assign the most effective treatment depending on the type of fungal infection. To prevent fungal infections, it is important to keep the skin on your feet clean and dry, shampoo hair regularly, wear sandals in public areas such as pools or gyms, and not share personal care items such as towels or hairbrushes.