Types of Fungal Infection
There is a substance found in the skin called Keratin; Fungal organisms can be found living of this and thus fungal infectioIs can develop and thrive. There are various types of fungal infections, these most common found ones are Athletes Foot (Tinea Pedis) and infections of the nail (Onychomycosis)
Athlete’s foot is a highly contagious condition, it is more commonly found in teenagers and young adults. Although it is difficult to determine how many people actually live with this condition, not knowing or treating it is a problem. It is caused by fungal growths found in warm moist areas ie; between the toes or found on the bottom of the feet. It can be passed on through direct or indirect contact with others.
Typical signs and symptoms will often include itching between the toes and is often accompanied by red irritated skin. This can can develop into broken skin or even blisters aif not dealt with.Preventing cross infection from fungal infections on the the feet should not be allowed to come into contact with others and should be protected until the condition has been treated. It is very important that items like towels and shoes should not be shared and socks should be changed frequently to prevent the fungus from multiplying further.
Fungal infections can be treated by using either VICKS vapour rub or by using anti-fungal preparations bought from the chemist or often found in supermarkets. Various treatments come in the form of a powder, cream or spray; allowing a good choice for the affected individual.
Athlete’s foot can be prevented by ensuring the feet are kept clean by washing everyday and dried thoroughly. This helps stop any occurance between the toes in preventing a warm and moist area for the germs to breed. Footwear should be changed everyday to allow the feet to breath and socks should be changed often if perspiration is the cause of the fungus collecting on the feet. When possible, keep the feet free of anything; no socks, shoes, slippers etc to let the skin breath.
Fungal nail infections are often caused by not treating a fungal skin infectio ie; Athlete’s foot. The fungal spores can then spread to the nails and begin to grow underneath the nail where they will continually multiply.These types of infections are also more commonly seen in those with other conditions such as Diabetes, Heart orVvascular disease when the circulation to the feet can become depleted and are also more likely to develop in those who live in hot or humid climates when the feet don't have a proper chance to cool down.
When a fungal infection infects one or more of the nails, it is then able to spread very easily to the rests of the toe nail. These infections often present a discolouration of the nail plate accompanied by a thickening of the nail that then becomes dry and flaky.The nail may lift and the surrounding skin can become red and inflamed as this occurs.
Treatments can vary for this type of infection but quite often, none are needed for just the mild infections. Simply treating Athlete’s foot that caused the infection is enough but some could benefit from taking anti-fungal medications often in a tablet form from a GP; some people might even require remove the nail if the infection is causing high levels of pain or the infection is particularly advanced.
It is important in keeping nails clean, dry and short to keep infections at bay; if Athlete’s foot is present, this should be treated to prevent further infection developing.
Good hygiene practices and keeping the feet cool and dry are often enough to prevent fungal infections from occurring, but if they do develop, early treatment is recommended to prevent deterioration or spread of the infection.