What are Fungal Infections?
Fungal infections occur most commonly when fungus spores enter the skin through a cut or lesion on your skin. It’s most common for fungal infections to occur in areas that don’t get a lot of airflow, such as the feet and groin. They generally present as scaly rash or discolored skin. Superficial fungal infections are not usually dangerous but can be annoying, itchy, and uncomfortable.
Many fungal infections can be contagious with direct contact, so touching clothing, a person, or an animal that has a fungal infection could cause it to spread to you.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that usually occurs on the torso or the limbs of the body.
It can be identified as a ring-shaped rash with raised edges that’s often itchy. It may start off as a small area, but it can spread across the body. While ringworm isn’t harmful, it can be extremely contagious and can be passed to both people and animals. If you think you may have ringworm, addressing it quickly will prevent you from spreading it to others.
Athlete’s foot is actually the same fungus that causes ringworm but specifically refers to an infection on the feet. Most commonly, athlete’s foot forms between the toes. Symptoms may include itching, burning, dry, scaly, or cracked skin on the feet. If you touch the foot area, it’s possible for it to spread to other parts of your body as well.
Nail fungus is a condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the infection progresses, your nails may become discolored, thicken, and begin to crumble at the edges.
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Treating Fungal Infections?
Your Levy Dermatology provider will prescribe medication to kill the fungus directly or prevent them from growing any further. You may receive a prescription cream, ointment, pill, powder, spray or shampoo depending on the location of your fungal infection. Once you receive your prescription, your provider will also let you know about aftercare instructions to prevent further spreading.
How Can I Prevent Fungal Infections?
The best way to prevent a fungal infection from occurring is by practicing good hygiene. It’s best to avoid sharing clothing and towels with others and to ensure your clothes are clean and breathable. Avoiding direct contact with public showers, bathrooms, and pools may also help prevent acquiring superficial fungal infections. Wiping shared surfaces and wearing shoes in these public places can also help prevent fungal infections.