If the word fungus is enough to make you cringe or go green in the face, rest assured that you are not alone. Most people feel sick at the thought of suffering from a fungal infection. However, are you aware that we all have several different types of fungi living on our skin at all times? These fungi could live on your skin for years without causing any problem. There are some factors though, that could cause the fungi to overgrow or change and lead to an infection. Data shows that there are more than 50,000 different species of fungi in the environment. Out of that around 200 species of fungi can be associated with diseases and only around 20 to 25 species lead to an infection in humans.
A fungal infection can be described as an invasion of one or more species of fungus on the tissues of the body. These infections are usually categorized by the type of microorganism causing the problem, the body part that is affected, the depth to which the body has been penetrated and the form that is taken by the fungi. While there are several types of fungal infections, they can be broadly divided into two types, superficial infections and systemic fungal infections. A fungal infection could occur on the surface of your skin, within a skin fold or any other area that is kept warm by your clothes and shoes. Some of the parts that are prone to fungal infections include the mucus membranes, the lungs, the sinuses and injury sites. Some of the most common types of fungal infections include Tinea Versicolor, Jock Itch, Athletes Foot, Barbers Itch, Ringworm, Fungal Nails, Intertrigo, Oral Thrush, and Vaginal Yeast Infection, to name a few. Some of these fungal infections are more common than the others. Moreover, men are more likely to suffer from certain infections such as Jock Itch and Athletes Foot, whereas Vaginal Yeast Infections are obviously prevalent in women.
The severity of an infection may vary from person to person. It is more common for infections to remain confined to a small area of the skin, like the toes or nails. However, this does not mean that the infection cannot spread; if left unchecked and untreated it is possible for the fungal infection to spread on to a wider area of the skin. Alternately, the infection could also penetrate deeper into the tissues. In fact, it is absolutely essential to control a fungal infection, because it can also easily spread from one person to the other.
While some fungal infections do get resolved on their own, most of them require medical treatment. Unfortunately, the treatment for fungal infections could go on for a long period of time and may require medication, topical creams and ointments, home remedies and dietary changes.
When it comes to treating mono, rest is one of the most important factors. Unfortunately, mono takes a couple of weeks to resolve completely and most individuals do not wait for the required period of time. Exerting yourself physically because of work or school can increase the risks of a relapse.
The types of microorganisms that lead to the different fungal infections vary, as do the factors that trigger off their overgrown and invasion of the body. A type of fungus known as Tinea is what leads to Athletes Foot, Ringworm and Jock Itch. However, other common fungal infections, such as vaginal yeast, oral thrush and fungal gastroenteritis are a result of the overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungus. In case you happen to inhale fungal spores, you could be susceptible to a fungal infection in the lungs. The factors that can lead to such fungal infections are many and include:
Fungal infections can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby, during the birthing process.
Most fungal infections can be controlled and treated, even though the procedure may take some time. In many cases, your health care provider may ask you to take some medicines and apply an antifungal soap, powder, cream or ointment, to speed up the healing process. In addition to that you could also use several home remedies, which help in controlling the overgrowth of the fungi in your body.
Many individuals manage to cure a fungal infection using simple remedies, only to have the problem return after a few days or weeks. In case you notice this problem too, it is absolutely essential to consult a doctor at the earliest.
Everything you eat has an effect on your immune system in one way or the other. Foods high in vitamins, mineral and nutrients generally strengthen your immune system. If your immune system is strong, our body will be able to fight off the fungal infection in a better way. While, there is a lot of controversy about the effectiveness of a diet for fungal infections treatment, most nutritionists agree that certain foods should be avoided as they encourage the growth of a yeast infection. Given below are some of the foods that are regarded as being bad for fungal infections:
The foods that are believed to be good for certain types of fungal infections include:
In order to flush out the germs from the body, you need to increase your consumption of water too.
In case your fungal infection is persistent and lasts for a long period of time or if the infection seems to get worse in spite of using remedies and medication, it could be an indication of a serious medical condition. In such instances it is absolutely essential to consult a doctor, without any delay.
In case you are taking antibiotics or other types of medicines as a part of treatment for any medical condition, you need to keep your doctor informed about it.