Fungi on the skin give rise to a pathology called ringworm, the agent that causes them is a parasitic fungus that affects the epidermis and its attachments, nails, and hair. Ringworm is a common disease, especially among children, but it can affect people. It is highly contagious, so it is essential to comply with preventive measures and get as far as possible from these fungi. At FastlyHealwe, explain what the causes, symptoms, and treatment of skin fungus are.
Table of Contents
Causes of skin fungus
Ringworm is contagious, which means that it can be transmitted from one person to another, and the fungus can be contracted:
- If you touch someone who has the infection or if you come in contact with items contaminated by the fungus, such as combs, unwashed clothing, and surfaces in showers and swimming pools.
- If you have a pet that carries the fungus, animals can also be a source of infection, with cats being the most common carriers.
- Ringworm thrives in warm, humid areas if you have continually wet skin and don’t dry it cautiously.
Symptoms of skin fungus
Depending on the area of the body where the fungus appears on the skin, the symptoms can vary:
- A ringworm on the body is a red ring that forms around an area of normal skin.
- Ringworm on the scalp causes red, itchy patches on the head that can leave areas without hair, mainly affecting children.
- The athlete’s foot causes itching, burning, and cracked skin between the toes of the foot.
- Itchy ringworm causes a burning and skin lesion in the groin area.
Tests and exams
Given the suspicion of fungus on the skin, it is essential to follow a protocol to confirm the diagnosis to establish an ideal treatment for this pathology. First, the epidermis and the lesions in the affected area must be analyzed. If the skin condition indicates that it can be treated with ringworm, the skin lesion will be tested for potassium hydroxide, placing a skin scraping sample on this substance and examining it under the microscope.
A more time-consuming technique to observe growth is fungal culture, scraping dead skin cells from the edge of a suspicious lesion and sending them to a microbiology laboratory for analysis. Depending on the characteristics of the colonies of the growing fungi, it is possible not only to demonstrate that it is present but also to determine the species.
Finally, when the appearance of the lesion is not specific to ringworm and the previous tests are inconclusive, a biopsy is used. In this technique, a small skin sample is taken for its anatomopathological study, being more uncomfortable for the patient, but giving definitive diagnostic results.
Treatment for skin fungus
Once the relevant tests have been carried out and a precise diagnosis of skin fungus has been established, it is time to treat this condition. Ringworm must be treated with antifungal medications responsible for destroying the fungi that have parasitized the epidermis. The oral or topical route is used depending on the type of ringworm that the patient presents.
The most common is topical administration, applying a cream, gel, or shampoo directly to the skin. The most commonly used active substances are miconazole, clotrimazole, ketoconazole, and oxiconazole. Sometimes when ringworm affects the feet, scalp, groin, or nails, oral treatment may be required.
Complications can occur due to scratching, so go to the doctor immediately if you feel the skin hot to the touch, as it can get worse and generate pus or other discharge and fever.
Remember that if you have a skin lesion with the characteristics mentioned above, you should go to the doctor to analyze your epidermis and perform the appropriate tests to obtain a diagnosis and correctly treat your condition.
To keep fungi on the skin at bay, we must prevent them from increasing, so we give you some preventive measures:
- Keep your skin clean and dry, as fungi love moisture. After each shower, it is recommended that you take time to dry your feet well.
- Wear flip-flops in public places like showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools to prevent athletes’ foot.
- Don’t share clothes, towels, hairbrushes, or other personal care items.
- Take a shower after exercising to remove sweat; this one has characteristics that mushrooms love; heat and humidity.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Skin fungus: causes, symptoms, and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.