Fungal infections of the skin, including athlete’s foot and ringworm are quite common and are usually easy to treat. A fungal infection is caused by a microscopic fungus. Fungal infections can occur anywhere on the body. The symptoms of a fungal skin infection differ, depending on the type of fungus and where the infection has manifested. Fungal skin infections usually cause some sort of rash; often they appear red, scaly, and itchy. Once a doctor has diagnosed the type of fungal infection, treatment with an antifungal cream or oral medication may be prescribed, and a moisture absorbing powder like Zeasorb may help to prevent future infection.
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that usually appears between the toes, but if left untreated can spread to the rest of the foot, including the toenails. Trichophyton is the type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot and it grows best, and spreads easily, in a dark, moist, and warm environment, like locker rooms, swimming pools, and in socks. Athlete’s foot may cause the skin between the toes to peel and crack; there may be redness, scaling, and dryness in the affected area. Once the fungus is diagnosed and treatment is prescribed it is important to continue the use of the prescription even if the skin may look better, because the infection can remain active for some time.
Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm at all. Actually it is a contagious fungal infection that appears on the skin as a red, itchy, scaly patch that is ring shaped. Similar to athlete’s foot, the fungi that cause ringworm thrive in warm, moist areas. It can be spread from one person to another by direct skin contact, contact with contaminated items, or from an animal that carries the fungus; cats are common carriers. Ringworm can be treated with an antifungal cream or oral medication.
To schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist at Soderstrom Skin Institute, call 1-888-970-7546.