Fungal infections may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but understanding the different types of fungal infections is important for effective treatment.
Fungus is not an inherently bad thing. Some of our favourite ingredients are classed as fungi, including mushrooms. What’s more, many different types of fungi make their home on our bodies and, in most cases, don’t cause any issues.
However, sometimes a fungus can change, and this can lead to an infection. There are many different kinds of fungal infections, all of which can affect different parts of the body, and in different ways.
We’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common fungal infections, in order to give you a clearer understanding of how to recognise and treat these conditions in the best way.
4 Common Types of Fungal Infection
Thrush is a particularly common fungal infection and is usually either an oral or genital condition. In fact, up to three-quarters of all women will have at least one bout of vaginal thrush in their lives. But the condition isn’t exclusive to women – it can also be contracted by men.
Thrush is usually harmless but can be uncomfortable and resilient. Symptoms of thrush include:
- White discharge from the genitalia
- Irritation and itchiness
- Burning and stinging when having sex or using the toilet
Like most fungal infections, thrush is best treated with effective antifungal medication. This can be an oral tablet, a tablet inserted into the vagina or a cream to relieve irritation. Recurring thrush may be caused by a wider issue, and advice should be sought from your GP.
Between 15-25% of people are likely to experience athlete’s foot at any one time. As the name suggests, the infection affects feet, usually appearing between the toes but also on the soles or side of the feet. If left untreated, it can spread and lead to fungal nail infections.
Athlete’s foot can cause raw, tender, flaking or split skin. It can also cause fluid-filled blisters to appear. The condition can be treated with creams, sprays and powders. You can also help to prevent it occurring by drying your feet after you wash them, wearing clean socks every day and avoiding walking around barefoot – particularly in public changing rooms and showers.
Ringworm is often the name given to a generic fungal infection, as it occurs when the tinea corporis fungus infects the skin. When it occurs in the feet, it can cause athlete’s foot; when it occurs in the groin, it can cause another infection called jock itch. It is also common on the scalp or the beard.
Although specific figures are hard to gather, ringworm is a frequent problem in most countries, particularly those with less access to effective hygiene. The main symptom of the condition is a red or silver rash which can be itchy, swollen or dry. Antifungal medication in the form of a cream, gel or spray is often prescribed.
Fungal nail infections
Fungal nail infections occur when a fungus infects the top, body or bed of the nail. They are more common in toenails but can occur in fingernails too. This is because the fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, and our feet spend much more time encased in shoes and socks which can get hot.
When infection occurs, the nail can become thicker, drier and begin to crumble. It may also become more yellow in tone and can even come off altogether. Fungal nail infections can take a long time to heal completely, but the best way to treat it effectively is with proven antifungal treatment. Lacquered medications like Curanail can be applied directly to the nail to trap and tackle the infection.
Find effective treatment for fungal nail infections right here at Express Pharmacy, and get it delivered swiftly and discreetly to your home. You can also contact our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our online live chat system.