Fungal Infections

Infections have a variety of causes and effects as well as treatments and preventative measures. If your infection is fungal, it’s caused by an organism that is neither plant nor animal, the spores of which are most commonly found in soil or air. Symptoms of fungal infections can sometimes mimic those which are bacterial or viral, so it’s important to seek expert advice for a correct diagnosis so that you can receive appropriate treatment.

Fungal infections occur when fungi enter your tissues and multiply. Since fungal spores are usually found in soil and air, their most common point of entry is through your skin or lungs. This is where fungal infections typically begin, sometimes spreading to other areas of the body. Fungal infections can occur anywhere, from your feet (Tinea Pedis, or Athlete’s Foot) to your head (Tinea Capitis, or scalp ringworm).

If you have a healthy immune system, your body has a built-in resistance to fungi thanks to skin and mucus barriers. However, if your immune system is compromised and the fungus is able to multiply, this can result in tissue destruction. If an invasive infection is allowed to spread unchecked, it may even result in death.

Fortunately most fungal infections respond to treatment, so see a doctor if you have symptoms that can include itching, burning, redness, rash as well as skin changes, such as flaking and peeling.

Prevention of fungal infections involves avoiding infection sources as well as ensuring that your body is an inhospitable host. Wear protective clothing, such as gardening gloves, and boost your immune system with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Since fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, ensure that the fabric against your skin stays dry and clean.

Fungal infections can be treated with medication, usually in the form of a topical solution such as lotion or ointment. If you have a more serious infection, there are oral and injectable medication options available. Seek medical care to ensure that your infection is controlled. The Ocala Infectious Disease & Wound Center has the expertise necessary to assist you with diagnosis, treatment and recovery.


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