What is fungal infection?

These are skin infections caused by a fungus. Millions of fungal species thrive in the dirt, on plants, on household surfaces, and on your skin.

Fungal skin infections might cause irritation, scaly skin, redness, itching, swelling, blisters, etc. anywhere on the body. Many types of over-the-counter medications can help treat fungal skin infections. However, you need to visit a doctor if infection does not improve, worsens, or recurs.

Fungal infections are of different types:

  • Athlete's Foot: Also called tinea pedis, involves the foot. They grow best in warm, moist areas such as shoes, socks, swimming pools, locker rooms, and public showers. Is more common in people who wear tight shoes, do not change sweaty socks, and use public baths/pools. Signs include peeling, cracking, and scaly feet; blisters; redness; itching; and burning.
  • Jock Itch: A red, itchy rash, often ring-shaped. Occurs in warm, moist areas such as genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks. It is mildly contagious, and can spread through direct or indirect contact. Symptoms include itching, chafing, burning, redness, flaking, peeling, or cracking of skin on the groin or thigh.
  • Ringworm: Also called tinea corporis. Occurs as a red, circular, flat sore, with scaly skin, and a winding, worm-like edge. It can spread through direct contact with infected people or animals or objects. Heat and humidity aggravates it.
  • Yeast Infection: Non-contagious infections, caused by Candida species. Most common in warm, moist, creased areas, including armpits and groin, and common in obese or diabetic individuals. It can cause infections in nails, vagina, or mouth (oral thrush). Signs of yeast infection of the skin include rashes, patches oozing clear fluid, pimples, itching, and burning; of the nails include painful swelling of nail beds and a white or yellow nail; of the mouth include white painful patches on the tongue and inside cheeks; and of the vaginal skin include white or yellow vaginal discharge, itching, redness, and burning sensation.