There are over 200 000 species of fungi, and only a hundred of them can affect humans. One of them is mycosis, which cover very different realities. Some general information about them is discuss below, focusing on yeast infection and ringworm.
Fungal infections can be classified according to affected areas. Hence, when the skin and nails are infected, we talk about superficial mycoses. When the fungus is present in the blood and can affect any organ, it is deep mycoses. These cases are much more annoying for patient whose immune system are weak.
The most commonly known fungal infections are yeast infection and ringworm.
The fungi of the genus Candida cover more than 200 species, it includes the twenty species that are pathogenic to humans. These yeasts can affect healthy individuals, both in the skin and in the mucous membranes. These infections take advantage of an imbalance in the environment of the skin: acidity, microbial environment and concentration of nutrients. The cutaneous yeast infections reach the areas that mostly sweats such as finger areas, armpits, etc. Mucosal and oral cavities, vaginal mucosa and the esophagus may also be infected.
Luckily, the treatment of common yeast infections is easy and efficient. Topical anti-fungal products are used for yeast infection.
The same species of Candida may be involved in systemic fungal infections that disseminate throughout the body, often the result of nosocomial infections. In this case, treatment is much heavier and there is a high risk of complications.
Ringworm is caused by fungi called dermatophytes, includes Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton. Usually transmitted by an infected person or animal. They are found on the skin, nails and hair because they thrive in parts where keratin is present. Symptoms are sharp-edges, round depilations andrarely accompanied by itching. Symptoms may vary in different cases. Most infected are the children and this infection is highly contagious.
Onychomycosis is where the nails are infected. The nail has a yellow or brown color or it has a white stain, it will be deteriorating and getting thicker. Some complications may occur such as an ingrown toenail and pain. These symptoms are however not sufficient to diagnose the infection and only a physician is authorized to diagnose it. Additionally, a laboratory analysis will confirm the origin of the infection.
The treatment of these mycoses easy but long process. It is based on anti-fungal products whose form varies depending on the location of the infection. Anti-fungal products can be in the form of powder, cream, shower gel and sometimes an oral. Preventive measures can reduce the risk of recurrence.
Another condition that affects mainly children is head lice. Head lice are parasites, they are tiny insects that spread through hair to hair contact and that feed on our blood on the scalp. It should be treated properly because if not eliminated they can cause various infections of the skin, like bacterial infection called impetigo.
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