Fungal Skin Infection

Fungal skin infection is a skin infection caused by fungus. Excessive growth of harmless fungus and other types of fungus causes fungal skin infection symptoms. These skin infections can be treated easily.

Fungus in skin affects your skin because it lives in the keratin, a protein that composes your hair, skin and nails. Fungal skin infections are categorized into two groups depending on the organism type involved. The name of the infection is derived in the body part where it confides.

Types of Fungal Skin Infections

Dermatophyte Infections

Dermatophyte is a type of fungi that causes skin, nails and hair infection. This type of infection is common affecting 2 in 10 people. Dermatophyte infection includes:

Fungal Skin Infection · Athlete’s Foot (Tinea mannum and Tinea pedis)

25 in 100 adults experiences athlete’s foot in their lives. This is caused by a combination of bacteria and fungi causing the skin to itch, scaly, dry and red especially between the toes. It may also cause blisters and cracked skin.

A person usually gets athlete’s foot from contaminated swimming pools, saunas and showers. If you happen to touch a contaminated area without washing your hand, it spreads to your hands. This is called as Tinea mannum. The creases on the palms and sides of the fingers are usually affected.

· Nail Infections

Fungal infection in the nails is termed as Onychomycosis. The ringworm in the nails is called Tinea unguium. This is a common infection. The infection causes your nails to become thickened, malformed and crumbled.

· Groin Rinworm (Tinea Cruris)

This is known as “jock itch” because it is common in young men usually affecting people active in sports. It causes red rash and itch in the surrounding area and the groin itself. It is common in men who sweat a lot. Infection is spread through scratching in your feet with athlete’s foot and spreads to the groin.

· Body Ringworm (Tinea corporis)

The ringworm affects the abdomen and limbs causing red flat or raised patches which spreads and grows.

· Scalp Ringworm Tinea Capitis)

It is common in young children especially in African-Caribbean origin living in urban areas. It causes inflammation and hair loss on the affected area. You can develop this without symptoms and spread it to others.

Yeast Infections

· Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a type of yeast infection in the skin folds caused by Candida albicans living in your digestive system and in the skin. It can be seen in areas where skin touched such as in groin, armpits, and under heavy breasts. It is itchy, sore with scales and spots.

· Thrush

Thrush affects the mouth and tongue, also caused by Candida albicans. Vagina, folded skin and other moist areas may be affected as well. It causes white vaginal discharge and itch in adults.

It also affects men which causes painful red rash on the penis’ head or glans. Newborns are also affected called as oral thrush. White patches are commonly mistaken as milk from breast or formula milk. It is not serious but babies who develop throat thrush usually have difficulty in feeding.

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Fungal Infection Treatment

Amphotericin B

The most widely used drug for antifungal therapy is still Amphotericin B or AB. This antifungal agent is available in different forms:

Amphotericin B· Conventional Amphotericin B = Amphotericin B desoxycholate

· Abelcet or ABLC or Amphotericin B lipid complex

· ABCD = Amphotericin B colloidal dispersion. This is developed with sodium cholesteryl sulphate. The effectiveness is similar to conventional AB.

· AmBisome or liposomal AB. It is less toxic than conventional Amphotericin B but more expensive though the effectiveness is similar.

Amphotericin B is most beneficial in the infection treatment like Coccidioides, Blastomyces, Paraoccidioides, Histoplasma, Cryptococcus and Candida without associated toxicity. Amphotericin B is a polyene which works by binding in the cell membrane of the fungi specifically in ergosterol, disrupting the membrane leading to fungus death.

Adverse Effects

Persons taking Amphotericin B may experience some adverse effects such as fever in about 50% of people, anaphylaxis in 1 in 100 ratio, vomiting, nausea, and nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity includes the lowering of glomelur filtration rate (GFR) of the kidney, increased magnesium and potassium loss and sometimes distal renal tubular acidosis. If the use of Amphotericin B is prolonged, nephrotoxicity is irreversible.

Fluconazoles and Azoles

Azoles like fluconazole inhibit the growth of fungi by preventing the ergosterol formation, a vital cell membrane integrity of a fungi. Fluconazole is known to be the “first generation azole” and in the later years it was supplemented with a new azole called vorizonazole with a wider spectrum activity.

Fluconazole is generally used for Candida albicans. But Candida albicans usually develop resistance to this drug especially to persons who are undergoing treatment for AIDS. It is also effective against Coccidiodomycosis and Cryptoccocus neoformans meningitis.

The gastrointestinal tract is able to absorb fluconazole easily and is excreted through urine. For adults who have severe infection, the dose range from 200mg to 400 mg per day. 800mg is sometimes used.


Voriconazole is an antifungal which also belongs to the azole family. Voriconazole is effective against Candida and Aspergillus. It is absorbed orally. It is also effective against Histoplasma, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Paracoccidiodes, dermatophytes and Cryptococcus.


The dosage is 200mg to 400mg per day. Reversible side effects include mild to moderate visual disturbances in 14% of people taking this drug such as blurred vision and enhanced brightness, increased bilirubin, rashes in 4% of people, photosensitivity and erythema.

Systemic Candida Infection Treatment

Amphotericin B is still the treatment for systemic Candida infection. The new azole, voriconazole are also used if the fungi is resistant to Amphotericin B but it is uncommon. The major problem of using Amphotericin B is the toxicity in prolonged used.

Invasive Aspergillosis Treatment

The drug of choice in Aspergillosis is still Amphotericin B, though voriconazole and posaconazole are very effective. Some patients are recommended to have resection surgeries in cases of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. A person having aspergillosis with a compromised immune system is an emergency and should be treated urgently.

Sequential Therapy

Sequential therapy starts with Amphotericin B followed by a longterm fluconazole or voriconazole. This is most effective in cryptococcal meningitis in patients with AIDS. Amphotericin B followed by itraconazole is used in aspergillosis patients.

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