Fungal Infections

October 29, 2008

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — patoconnor @ 1:22 pm

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)

What causes it?

© NetDoctor/Geir Tight-fitting trainers are a common cause of athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot caused by parasites on the skin called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes can be divided into three groups according to their favourite hosts:

  • fungi preferring soil (geophile)
  • fungi preferring animals (zoophile)
  • and fungi preferring humans (anthropophile).

Athlete’s foot is usually caused by anthropophile fungi. The most common species are Microsporum, Epidermophyton and Trichophyton. These account for 90 per cent of all skin fungal infections, commonly referred to as ringworm.

The medical terms for athlete’s foot are tinea pedis or dermatophytosis palmaris, plantaris and interdigitalis – the latter indicates that, in addition to the soles and toes of the feet, the palms of the hands can also become infected.

What causes it?

We all have one or more of the fungi that can cause athlete’s foot on our bodies. They feed on dead skin cells and are usually harmless.

Athlete’s foot is a common condition in young people and adults. The fungi love warm, moist places with the result they are primarily a problem for people who wear tight-fitting trainers or don’t dry their feet properly.

The condition is contagious. It can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact and indirectly through towels, shoes, floors, etc.

What are the symptoms?

There are two variants of the condition.

Classic cases

The infection is caused by one of the most common fungi.

  •  
    • A red itchy rash in the spaces between the toes (often between the 4th and 5th toes initially) and possibly small pustules.
    • Often a small degree of scaling.
    • The infection can spread to the rest of the foot and other parts of the body.
    • The skin reddens and its furrows become marked, resembling chalked lines.

    • If the condition is not treated, a similar rash may appear on one or both palms.

    • After a while, the rash becomes scaly, resembling eczema.
  • Rarer cases

    Infection of the soles of both feet by Trichophyton rubrum.

Who is at increased risk?

  • Young people, especially if they wear trainers.
  • Athletes.
  • People who are forced to wear tight-fitting rubber footwear because of their job.

What can be done at home?

  • Wash the feet every day and allow them to dry properly before putting on shoes and socks. You should use a separate towel to dry your feet. To avoid passing the infection on you should not share these towels with anyone else.
  • Wear socks made of cotton or wool, and change them at least twice a day or when they have become damp.
  • Avoid wearing shoes which are made of synthetic materials. Wear sandals or leather shoes instead.
  • Powder the feet and the inside of the shoes with an antifungal powder.

How is it diagnosed?

  • The diagnosis can usually be made on the basis of the appearance of the foot.
  • The doctor may take a scrape for microscopy and culture.

Future prospects

  • The condition can sometimes disappear simply through being exposed to fresh air, but medical treatment is usually required.
  • An infection of the foot may be accompanied by an infection of the nails.

How is athlete’s foot treated?

  • Athlete’s foot can be treated locally with antifungal creams, sprays, liquids and powders that are available from pharmacists without a prescription. Imidazole antifungals are most effective and include clotrimazole (eg Canesten AF) and miconazole (eg Daktarin). Other antifungals include zinc undecenoate (Mycota), terbinafine (Lamisil AT) and tolnaftate (Mycil).
  • Treatment should be continued for two weeks after the symptoms have disappeared to ensure the infection has been treated effectively.
  • Some antifungal creams also contain hydrocortisone, eg Daktacort HC. These are useful when the skin is particularly red and inflamed, as the hydrocortisone reduces inflammation and irritation. They should not be used for longer than seven days. They are not suitable for children under 10 or during pregnancy and breastfeeding, unless prescribed by a doctor. After seven days, treatment should be continued with a plain antifungal.
  • If the athlete’s foot has not started to respond after two weeks’ antifungal treatment you should see your doctor, who may prescribe a stronger antifungal cream or antifungal tablets.

Based on a text by Dr Flemming Andersen and Dr Ulla Søderberg, consultant dermatologist

Last updated 01.04.2005

NetDoctor

………Athlete’s Feet

Don’t let the name fool you. Athletes aren’t the only ones who get the itchy condition known as athlete’s foot. Anyone can get athlete’s foot if two things happen:

  • Their bare feet are exposed to a kind of fungus.
  • That fungus has the right environment to grow – like hot and sweaty sneakers! 

A Fungus Is a Microorganism
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis (say: tin-ee-uh peh-dus), is a common
skin infection that is caused by a fungus (say: fun-gus), a plant-like microorganism (say: my-kro-or-guh-niz-um) too small to be seen by the naked eye. This fungus eats old skin cells. And plenty of them can be found on the feet!

Although athlete’s foot occurs mostly among teen and young adult guys, kids and women can get it, too. People with sweaty or damp feet are at risk. Walking barefoot where others also walk barefoot is one way the fungus can get on your feet in the first place. That’s why your mom or dad might say to wear your sandals when you’re showering in a public shower.

Why Is It Called Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot gets its name because athletes often get it. Why? The fungus that causes it can be found where athletes often are. The fungus grows on the warm, damp surfaces around pools, public showers, and locker rooms. People walk barefoot on these surfaces and fungus ends up on their feet. Or they might use a damp towel that has the athlete’s foot fungus on it.

But just having the fungus on your feet isn’t enough to cause the infection. The infection happens if conditions are right for the fungus to grow. The fungus likes it wet, so:

  • Dry your feet properly after swimming, showering, or bathing.
  • Do not wear tight shoes when your feet are sweaty.
  • Do not wear the same pair of shoes or socks day after day.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Cases of athlete’s foot can be mild to severe. A person who has it may have a rash that itches and burns. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • bumps on the feet
  • cracked, blistered, or peeling areas, often between the toes
  • redness and scaling on the soles of the feet
  • skin between the toes may look “cheesy” and have an unpleasant odor
  • a rash that spreads to the instep (inside part of the foot)
  • raw skin from scratching (try not to scratch!)

Athlete’s foot may spread to other parts of your foot, including your toenails. It can also infect other parts of the body – such as the groin (commonly called jock itch) and underarms – but only if someone scratches the infection and touches these places.

What Will the Doctor Do?
A doctor such as a dermatologist (say: dur-muh-tal-uh-jist), a skin doctor, or podiatrist (say: puh-dye-uh-trist), a foot doctor, can figure out if you have athlete’s foot. It could be something other than athlete’s foot, too. Kids can get other foot conditions or might be allergic to a material in the shoes they’re wearing.

But a doctor will be able to tell by looking at the skin on your feet. Your doctor may swab or scrape off a skin sample to test for fungus or for bacteria. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt – you have lots of extra layers of skin on your feet! 

Treatment is usually simple. For mild cases, your doctor may have you apply a powder that contains medicine or cream that kills fungus, which should make your feet feel better in a few days. Sometimes you’ll need to use the medicine for up to a month to get rid of the athlete’s foot completely.

You’ll also need to keep your feet dry and keep your shoes off as much as possible because fungus can’t easily grow in dry, open air. If doing these things doesn’t help clear up the infection, your doctor may then prescribe a stronger medicine. This one will be the kind you swallow, not just something that you apply to your feet. 

It’s important to see a doctor about your athlete’s foot because if it goes untreated, it will continue to spread, making your feet feel really itchy and uncomfortable and will become harder to get rid of. Also, more serious infections can also develop on your feet.

Athlete’s Foot Prevention
Many people will develop athlete’s foot at least once in their lives. Some will get it more often. To help avoid it:

  • Wash your feet every day.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Sometimes go barefoot at home – especially at night.
  • Avoid wearing tight or synthetic footwear that doesn’t allow your feet to “breathe.”
  • Wear sandals around pool areas, public showers, and gyms to steer clear of the fungus.
  • Wear socks that soak up wetness. Cotton is one material that does this.
  • Change your socks every day (or more frequently) if they get damp.
  • Ask your parent to buy antifungal powder to put in your sneakers or shoes.
  • Spray your shoes with a disinfectant and set them in out in the sun to help kill germs.
  • Don’t share towels or footwear.
  • Keep home bathroom surfaces clean – especially showers and tubs.

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date reviewed: December 2004

Kids Health

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Fungal Infections in Children

Filed under: fungal infections — Tags: , , , , , , — patoconnor @ 1:09 pm

Fungal Infections in Children

What do you think of when you hear the word fungus? Do you think of mushrooms? A mushroom is one type of fungus, but fungus also refers to a type of germ that lives on all of us.

This germ is harmless most of the time, but sometimes it can cause a problem called a fungal infection (say: fung-gul in-fek-shun). It sounds gross, but don’t worry or feel embarrassed. A lot of people get fungal infections, but they’re usually easy to treat becuase a fungus rarely spreads below the skin. If you get one of these infections, before you know it, you’ll be saying bye-bye to fungi (say: fung-guy).

What Is a Fungal Infection?
Fungi, the word for more than one fungus, can be found on different parts of the body. Here are some common types of fungal infections:

Tinea (say: tih-nee-uh) is a type of fungal infection of the hair, skin, or nails. When it’s on the skin, tinea usually begins as a small red area the size of a pea. As it grows, it spreads out in a circle or ring. Tinea is often called ringworm because it may look like tiny worms are under the skin (but of course, they’re not!). Because the fungi that cause tinea (ringworm) live on different parts of the body, they are named for the part of the body they infect. Scalp ringworm is found on the head, and body ringworm affects the arms, legs, or chest.

Athlete’s foot is another type of fungal infection that usually appears between the toes but can also affect toenails and the bottom or sides of the feet.

Jock itch is a fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs. You might think only men and boys get it, but girls and women can get it, too. 

Candida

(say: kan-duh-duh) is a yeast, similar to a fungus. It most often affects the skin around the nails or the soft, moist areas around body openings. Diaper rash in babies is one type of candidal infection, as is thrush (white patches often found in the mouths of babies.) Older girls and women may develop another form of candidal infection in and around the vagina. This is called a yeast infection.

Why Do Kids Get Fungal Infections?
Lots of kids get fungal infections. Kids love to share and hang out together. Some of these infections are  contagious (say: kon-tay-jus), which means they easily spread from person to person. Close contact or sharing a comb or hairbrush with someone who has tinea can spread the fungus from one person to another. Because fungi need a warm, dark, and humid place to grow, public showers, pools, locker rooms, and even the warmth of shoes and socks can give fungi the perfect opportunity to strike. 

Taking antibiotics can cause some kids to get a yeast infection. Antibiotics get rid of germs that make us sick, but they can also kill many of the harmless bacteria in our body. These harmless bacteria normally fight with the yeast for a place to live, but when antibiotics kill them, the yeast is free to grow.

Sometimes, a fungus may infect kids if they have an immune system disorder (this means their bodies can’t fight certain types of infections). This is rare, but it does happen.

How Do I Know If I Have a Fungal Infection?

There aredoctor. Here are some signs you and a parent can look for:

  • Athlete’s foot causes symptoms that include red, dry, cracked, and itchy skin between the toes. Some people also have red, scaly bumps filled with pus on the bottoms and sides of their feet.
  • Jock itch appears as a rash with elevated edges. It’s itchy and often feels like it is burning. It’s pretty common, especially if you play sports. Sweating and wearing athletic equipment can bring on this kind of rash. 
  • Ringworm of the head begins as a small pimple or scaly patch that looks like dandruff. The pimple or patch becomes larger and the hair in the infected area can become brittle and break off. This can create scaly patches of baldness, but the hair will grow back. If you have ringworm on your arms, legs, or chest, you may see small, red spots that grow into large rings.
  • Candida, the yeast, causes the skin around the infected area to itch. The skin may also be red and swollen.

Farewell to Fungus!
Getting rid of a fungal infection is not that difficult. Your doctor may decide to scrape a small amount of the irritated skin or clip off a piece of hair or nail and look at it under a microscope. Once your doctor knows what kind of infection you have, there are special antifungal creams and shampoos that can help to get rid of it. Sometimes the doctor will prescribe a
medicine to take. Make sure you take the medicine for as long as the doctor tells you.

Maybe fungal infections can’t be avoided altogether, but there are some ways you can help yourself ward them off.

Walk away from athlete’s foot by:

  • Washing your feet every day.
  • Drying your feet completely, especially between your toes.
  • Wearing sandals or shower shoes when walking around in locker rooms, public pools, and public showers.
  • Wearing clean socks. If they get wet or damp, be sure to change them as soon as you can.
  • Using a medicated powder on your feet to help reduce perspiration. (Ask a parent first.)

You can ditch jock itch by: 

  • Wearing clean, cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants.
  • Keeping your groin area clean and dry.

Prevent beastly yeast infections by:

  • Changing out of wet swimsuits instead of lounging around in them. 
  • Wearing clean, cotton underpants.

There may always be a “fungus among us,” but we can make it a lot tougher for them to invade and grow!

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date reviewed: May 2004

Kids Health

Types of Fungal Infections

Related Terms:  Tinea, Athlete’s Feet, Candida, Jock Itch, Yeast Infections, Oral thrush, Cryptococcosis, Sporotrichosis, Pityriasis Versicolor, Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis, Tinea Pedis, Tinea Cruris, Tinea Corporis, Tinea Unguiuum, Tinea Barbae, Tinea Manuum, Tinea Capitis

Types of Fungal Infections

For those of us with lymphedema, proper skin care is essential to our health and well being. The skin must be cared for correctly and every effort must be made to avoid fungus and fungal infections. If after all we do, we acquire one, it must be treated promptly. These fungal infections can be catastrophic.

Definition of a fungus:  Member of a class of primitive vegetable organisms. These plants lack cholorphyll, are generally parasitic and reproduce by spores. 

Fungus causing infections can be classified in two distinct groupings. Fungus infections from a mold-like fungi include athlete’s feet, jock itch, ringwowrm  and tinea capitis.

Fungus infections from a yeast-like fungi include diaper rash, oral thrush, cutaneous candida and some genital rashes.

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Fungal Infections

http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual_home2/sec17/ch197/ch197a.jsp

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Skin Fungus Infections

http://quickcare.org/skin/fungus.html

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Types of Fungal infections

Types list: The list of types of Fungal infections mentioned in various sources includes:

Candida
Vaginal Candidiasis
Oral thrush
Athlete’s foot
Tinea
Yeast infections
Ringworm – not a worm but a fungus.
Cryptococcosis
Sporotrichosis

Pityriasis Versicolor


Types discussion: Mycoses can affect your skin, nails, body hair, internal organs such as the lungs, and body systems such as the nervous system. Aspergillus fumigatus, for example, can cause aspergillosis, a fungal infection in the respiratory system.
Some fungi have made our lives easier. Penicillin and other antibiotics, which kill harmful bacteria in our bodies, are made from fungi. Other fungi, like certain yeasts, also can be beneficial. For example, when a warm liquid like water and a food source are added to certain yeasts, the fungus ferments. The process of fermentation is essential for making healthy foods like some breads and cheeses.1

Acknowledgment and Thanks

Wrong Diagnosis.com

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/f/fungal_infections/subtypes.htm
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Fungal infections

diseases caused by organisms of the kingdom Fungi, which includes various genera that may cause disorders with musculoskeletal manifestations (Table 1). These pathogical conditions are discussed in more detail under their specific names.
Fungal infections, Table 1. Various types of fungal infections.

Disease Organism

Actinomycosis Actinomyces species


Nocardiosis Nocardia species
Cryptococcosis (torulosis) Cryptococcus neoformans

North American blastomycosis Blastomyces dermatitidis

South American blastomycosis (paracoccidioidomycosis) Blastomyces brasiliensis

Coccidioidomycosis Coccidioides immitis

Histoplasmosis Histoplasma capsulatum

Sporotrichosis Sporothrix schenkii

Candidiasis Candida albicans

Mucormycosis Mucor species

Aspergillosis Aspergillus species

Maduromycosis (mycetoma) Madurella,Nocardia, Streptomyces species

http://www.amershamhealth.com/medcyclopaedia/Volume%20III%201/FUNGAL%20INFECTIONS.asp

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What are the different types of fungal infection?

When it comes to human body, the term fungus refers to a type of germ that lives on all of us. This germ harmless most of the time, can cause problems occasionally. This is called a fungal infection. Persistent fungal infections may be indicators of an imbalance in the body’s microflora (the small, usually bacterial, inhabitants of gut,skin surfaces and mucous membranes).

What are the different types of fungal infection?

Tinea

is a type of fungal infection of the hair, skin, or nails. When it’s on the skin, tinea usually begins as a small red area the size of a pea. As it grows, it spreads out in a circle or ring. Tinea is often called “ringworm” because it may look like tiny worms are under the skin (but of course, they’re not!). Because the fungi that cause tinea (ringworm) live on different parts of the body, they are named for the part of the body they infect. Scalp ringworm is found on the head, and body ringworm affects arms, legs, or the chest.
Athlete’s foot

is another type of fungal infection that usually appears between the toes but can also affect the bottom or sides of the feet.
Jock itch

is a fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs. (This usually occurs only in boys and men.)
Candida 

is a yeast-like fungus. This fungus most often affects the skin around the nails or the soft, moist areas around body openings. Diaper rash in babies is a form of candidal infection, as is thrush, the white patches most often found in the mouths of kids and babies. Older girls and women may develop another form of candidal infection in the area in and around the vagina. This is called a yeast infection
http://channels.apollolife.com/show.asp?NewAid=9710

 

 

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