6 Fungal Infections you Should Know

Did you know that there might be as many as 5 million varieties of fungus living in the world? They’re one of the most common forms of life on the planet, and they can attach themselves to countless kinds of surfaces–man-made and natural alike. While many of these species are relatively harmless, or even beneficial, many fungi can cause infections in humans and animals. This is the case with the six varieties we’ll be looking at today.

If you’ll forgive the pun, there’s nothing “fun” about a fungal infection. The symptoms are often painful, uncomfortable, and even downright embarrassing for the individuals experiencing them. Even though they’re usually treatable on your own, given enough time or ability to spread, some fungal infections become serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor for prescription solutions.

Most people will deal with at least some form of fungal infection in their lifetime, so it’s important to understand a little about them. Knowledge about how fungal infections spread can lead to better awareness regarding their prevention and treatment. So, without futher ado, let’s take a look at six of the most common forms of fungal infections, as well as their symptoms and their effective treatment options.

1. Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infections that affects the soles of the feet, the area in between the toes, and occasionally the top of the foot. It’s very common, and thrives in the moist environment created by socks and shoes. The fungal infection can also spread via swimming pools, locker rooms, and public showers.

The most common symptoms of athletes foot are scaly rashes, itching, burning, and pain. Athlete’s foot usually starts in between the toes, but can easily spread to the soles or top of the foot, causing pus-filled blisters to form. While men get athlete’s foot more often than women do, it’s by no means unheard of for a woman to get this fungal infection.

The best ways to prevent athlete’s foot is to keep your feet as dry as possible; let your feet air out whenever you can. Changing socks regularly is another must. If you’re utilizing any public shower facilities, wear waterproof flip-flops or sandals.

Athletes foot is relatively easy to treat with over-the-counter creams and powders. More serious cases may require you to visit a doctor–especially for individuals with conditions like diabetes.