Fungal Infections

February 26, 2012

Salon trip could lead to fungal infection

Salon trip could lead to fungal infection

Feb 23, 2012


You could end up in your doctor’s office with a fungal infection after getting a pedicure if your salon doesn’t clean its instruments properly.

Vera Occhipinti gets a pedicure every other month. This time when the dark red nail polish came off, her podiatrist found something she never expected.

“A slight fungus under the dark nail polish,” said Occhipinti.

While Occhipinti has no idea how she got the fungus, she says it easily could have come from her nail salon.

Dr Elena Cibula says Occhipinti is not alone.

The podiatrist has treated several patients with fungal and bacterial infections that came from dirty salon instruments like nail clippers, whirlpools, even the brush of the nail polish.

“If they use instrument one person that had fungus infection and do not disinfect it, it can spread,” said Cibula.

Under state law salons must follow strict guidelines when it comes to cleaning instruments.

Sheila Greer at Polished Nail Boutique says she sanitizes everything to keep anything from spreading.

NBC2 found dozens of inspection reports for salons in Lee and Collier counties that failed to comply with proper cleaning procedures.

We checked out one of those salons, Bohemia Beauty Salon in Naples. According to the report, there was no cleaning solution at all.

The owner didn’t want to go on camera, but says since the inspection they have hired a new nail technician who cleans everything between clients.

If you want to make sure your feet stay fungus-free you should always bring your own tools to the salon. You can also bring your own nail polish. Some places will even give you a discount.

Occhipinti will have to get pricey treatment to get rid of her fungus and make sure it doesn’t spread.

She says now she’ll think twice before getting her nails done.


September 25, 2009

Zygomycosis and diabetes mellitus.

Zygomycosis and diabetes mellitus.

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Oct;15

Lanternier F, Lortholary O.

Université Paris Descartes, Centre d’Infectiologie Necker-Pasteur, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, Paris, France.

Zygomycoses are severe angio-invasive fungal infections that develop in immunocompromised and diabetic patients. Any episode of sinusitis not responding to short-term antibacterial therapy should evoke the diagnosis of zygomycosis in the latter population, especially in cases of a surrounding necrotic area. Appropriate diagnosis is obtained after careful direct examination of the sample and culture. Current therapy underscores the need to control glycaemia and acidosis in addition for urgent administration of high-dose liposomal amphotericin B in combination with extensive surgery.


January 4, 2009

Strong drug to treat fungal infections

Found: strong drug to treat fungal infections

London, Dec 18 (IANS) Researchers have found that the drug Voriconazole to be highly effective against fungal infections caused by AIDS, cancer treatment or organ replacement, according to a new study.

Voriconazole is an antifungal agent approved for treatment of a broad range of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida species.

Fungal infections can kill people with weakened immune systems, which can be caused by AIDS, cancer treatment or organ replacement.

The research reinforces earlier findings that this drug is a potent treatment for a wide range of these infections.

The study authors, from Britain, the US and New Zealand, analysed susceptibility data for the yeasts isolated from patients taking part in the Voriconazole phase III clinical trials.

The aim was to compare the effectiveness of Voriconazole with other agents, by studying the yeasts’ response to these antifungal agents in vitro, and also to check for resistance to Voriconazole.

The researchers analysed the effect of Itraconazole, Fluconazole, Amphotericin B and Voriconazole versus 1,763 yeasts isolated from samples obtained from 472 patients, according to an Elsevier release.

The authors conclude that “Voriconazole exhibits high potency against a wide range of yeast species. It is notably more active than Fluconazole in terms of both potency and spectrum, but shows similar activity to Itraconazole against most yeasts.”

They also note that the activity of the agent in vitro (test tube) may help predict the response of patients to treatment.

These findings are scheduled for publication in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, published by Elsevier.

Mangalorean News

December 2, 2008


Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection that frequently occurs following a minor injury while gardening or farming. Spores, which live in vegetation, enter the skin and begin to grow. The fungus follows the lymph channels up the extremity. Granulomatous lesions develop along the lymph channel, ulcerate, and drain. If left untreated, this condition can persist for years.

What is sporotrichosis?

Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenckii. It usually infects the skin.

Who gets sporotrichosis?

Persons handling thorny plants, sphagnum moss, or baled hay are at increased risk of getting sporotrichosis. Outbreaks have occurred among nursery workers handling sphagnum moss, rose gardeners, children playing on baled hay, and greenhouse workers handling bayberry thorns contaminated by the fungus. A number of cases have occurred among nursery workers, especially workers handling sphagnum moss topiaries.

How is the fungus spread?

The fungus can be found in sphagnum moss, in hay, in other plant materials, and in the soil. It enters the skin through small cuts or punctures from thorns, barbs, pine needles, or wires. It can also be inhaled and cause pulmonary infection or disseminated infection. It is not spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms of sporotrichosis?

The first symptom is usually a small painless bump resembling an insect bite. It can be red, pink, or purple in color. The bump (nodule) usually appears on the finger, hand, or arm where the fungus first enters through a break on the skin. This is followed by one or more additional bumps or nodules which open and may resemble boils. Eventually lesions look like open sores (ulcerations) and are very slow to heal. Pneumonia rarely occurs as a result of inhalation of fungal spores, and can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and fever. The infection can spread to other parts of the body, including bones and joints and the central nervous system.


Does sporotrichosis involve any other organs besides the skin?

The majority of infections are limited to the skin. Cases of joint, lung, and central nervous system infection have occurred but are very rare. Usually they occur only in persons with weakened immune system.

How soon do symptoms appear?

The first nodule may appear any time from 1 to 12 weeks after exposure to the fungus. Usually the nodules are visible within 3 weeks after the fungus enters the skin.

How is sporotrichosis diagnosed?

Sporotrichosis can be confirmed when a doctor obtains a swab or a biopsy of a freshly opened skin nodule and submits it to a laboratory for fungal culture.

If I have symptoms should I see my doctor?

Yes. It is important for the diagnosis to be confirmed by a doctor so that proper treatment can be provided.

How is sporotrichosis treated?

Itraconazole is the preferred treatment for cutaneous and lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis. It may also be used to treat bone and joint infections. For patients with severe disease, and/or pulmonary, central nervous system or disseminated infection, a lipid formulation of amphotericin B should be used initially. Itraconazole can be used for step-down therapy once the patient has stabilized. Potassium iodide (SSKI) is another option for cutaneous or lymphocutaneous disease that does not respond to itraconazole. SSKI and azole drugs like itraconazole should be avoided during pregnancy. Treatment recommendations may differ for children. Consult your doctor for more information.

Fluconazole is used in patients who do not respond to itraconazole. Systemic or disseminated infection is often treated with Amphotericin B, or sometimes itraconazole. Therapy for systemic disease can last up to 12 months.

How can sporotrichosis be prevented?

Control measures include wearing gloves and long sleeves when handling wires, rose bushes, hay bales, conifer (pine) seedlings, or other materials that may cause minor skin breaks. It is also advisable to avoid skin contact with sphagnum moss. Moss has been implicated as a source of the fungus in a number of outbreaks.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Outlook (Prognosis)(1)

With treatment, full recovery can be expected. Disseminated sporotrichosis is more difficult to treat and requires chemotherapeutic agents. Disseminated sporotrichosis can be life-threatening for immunocompromised people.

Possible Complications (1)

In people with a normal immune system:

Secondary skin infections
In people who are immunosuppressed:
Disseminated disease
Lung and breathing problems (such as pneumonia)
Bone infection
Complications from medications — amphotericin B can have serious side effects


(1) Medline Plus


November 14, 2008

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor (pityriasis versicolor) is a fungal infection of the topmost layer of the skin causing scaly, discolored patches.

The infection, caused by the yeast Malassezia furfur, is quite common, especially in young adults. It rarely causes pain or itching, but it prevents areas of the skin from tanning, producing patches that are lighter in color than surrounding skin. People with naturally dark skin may notice lighter patches; people with naturally fair skin may get dark or lighter patches. The color depends on how the yeast affect the melanocytes, the cells that make the pigment . The patches are often on the chest or back and may scale slightly. Over time, small areas can join to form large patches.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors can diagnose tinea versicolor by its appearance. A doctor may use an ultraviolet light to show the infection more clearly or may examine scrapings from the infected area under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Topical antifungal cream such as ketoconazole (NIZORAL) may be used, as well as terbinafine (LAMISIL AT) solution spray. Prescription selenium sulfide (SELSUN) shampoo is effective if applied full-strength to the affected areas (including the scalp) at bedtime, left on overnight, and washed off in the morning. Treatment is usually continued for 3 or 4 nights. Alternatively, the shampoo can be applied for 10 minutes a day for 10 days. Prescription ketoconazole (NIZORAL) shampoo is also effective; it is applied and washed off in 5 minutes. It is used as a single application or daily for 3 days.

Antifungal drugs taken by mouth, such as itraconazole (SPORANOX), ketoconazole (NIZORA),  or fluconazole (DIFLUCAN), are sometimes used to treat widespread, resistant infection However, because these drugs may cause unwanted side effects, topical drugs are usually preferred.

The skin may not regain its normal pigmentation for many months after the infection is gone. Tinea versicolor commonly comes back after successful treatment because the fungus that causes it normally lives on the skin. Therefore, many doctors recommend use of 2.5% selenium sulfide (SELSUN) shampoo or ketoconazole (shampoo monthly or every other month to prevent recurrences.


Tinea Versicolor

What is tinea versicolor?

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal skin infection characterized by lighter or darker patches on the skin. Patches are most often found on the chest or back and prevent the skin from tanning evenly. It occurs mostly in adolescence and early adulthood, but it can occur at any time.
What are the symptoms of tinea versicolor?

Usually, the only symptom of tinea versicolor is the white or light brown patches. Patches may scale slightly, but rarely itch or hurt. Other common characteristics of the rash include the following:

  • white, pink, or brown patches
  • infection only on the top layers of the skin
  • the rash usually occurs on the trunk
  • the rash does not usually occur on the face   

    patches worsen in the heat, humidity, or if you are on steroid therapy or has a weakened immune system

  • patches are most noticeable in the summer

The symptoms of tinea versicolor may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
<How is tinea versicolor diagnosed?

Tinea versicolor is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination. The patches seen with this condition are unique, and usually allow the diagnosis to be made on physical examination. In addition, your physician may use an ultraviolet light to see the patches more clearly. Also, your physician may do skin scrapings of the lesions to help confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for tinea versicolor:

Specific treatment for tinea versicolor will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the condition
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

Treatment usually includes the use of dandruff shampoo on the skin, as prescribed by your physician. The shampoo is left on the skin overnight and washed off in the morning. To be effective, the shampoo treatment may be required for several nights. Tinea versicolor usually recurs, requiring additional treatments. Your physician may also prescribe topical creams or oral antifungal medications. It is also important to know that improvement in the skin may only be temporary, and a recurrence of the condition is possible. Your physician may also recommend using the shampoo monthly to help prevent recurrences. The treatment will not bring the normal color back to the skin immediately. This will occur naturally and may take several months.

October 29, 2008

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. 


(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

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