What is skin fungus? Simply a group of microorganisms that cause infections of the skin. Some fungi, such as yeasts, are naturally present in the human body. Dermatophytes are opportunistic organisms. When you are exposed to an environment, which grow on the human body and infect the upper layer of the skin as well as nails or hair.
Different types of fungal skin infections are ringworm (tinea corporis), (Tinea pedis) athlete’s foot, nail ringworm (capitis unguium), jock itch (tinea cruris), beard ringworm (Tinea beard), ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis) and Candida. In rare cases, overgrowth of fungi can cause such infection to reach the bloodstream or internal organs due to invasion through deeper layers of the skin. Discover more on skin fungal infection here!
Risk factors for fungal infections of the skin:
1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used to treat various bacterial infections. These drugs can decrease the number of useful bacteria that normally live inside the body. When the population of beneficial bacteria in the body decreases, opportunistic fungi get an opportunity to invade and colonize the skin.
2. Corticosteroids: Steroids are used to reduce inflammation and a number of skin infections. These drugs for arrest inflammation suppression body’s immune response and suppression of the immune system that creates favorable conditions for fungal growth and other opportunistic infectious agents.
3. Compromised immune system: Our immune system can be depressed due to chemotherapy (for cancer treatment) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Because of such a weakened immune system, fungi get a chance to grow. For the same reason, people suffering from diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers, such as leukemia, are also more prone to develop a deep fungal infection of the skin.
4. Environmental factors: moisture is necessary for fungi to grow and reproduce. A fungal infection mainly affects wet areas of the body, including the vagina and mouth. Shoes and sweaty clothes increase the possibility of yeast infections. Locker rooms or showers are perfect breeding grounds for fungus on skin as they are attracted to moist areas.
5. Heredity: Some people have a genetic predisposition to skin fungal infections. They are more likely to get infections when exposed to a fungal infection-prone atmosphere.