Not Sure What's on Your Skin? It Could Be a Fungal Infection

Fungal infection on a man's foot Not Sure What's on Your Skin? It Could Be a Fungal Infection

An itchy skin rash can be quite uncomfortable--and it might not always have a clear cause. But before you reach for an over-the-counter remedy, it’s important to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis. These skin rashes are often fungal skin infections and require special treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of these infections.

What to Know About Fungal Infections

What Are The Symptoms of Fungal Skin Infections?

There are several types of fungal infections that can affect the skin, most of which cause a scaly rash, redness, itching, blisters, swelling, and skin discoloration. Fungal skin infections often develop in areas with little air flow, since fungi thrive in warm and moist environments. So, you might notice these types of infections on the feet, underarms, and groin, for example.

Some of the most common types of fungal infections include:

  • Athlete’s Foot: This fungal infection of the feet can cause itching, redness, burning, blisters, and peeling or cracked skin. Athlete’s foot can develop if you wear tight shoes or sweaty socks. It may also grow on the floor of places like public locker rooms and pools.
  • Ringworm: As its name suggests, ringworm causes a ring-shaped rash on the skin. The infection often spreads from contact with surfaces, especially in warm and humid environments.
  • Yeast Infections: Yeast infections occur from the overgrowth of a fungus called candida. The infection most often develops in skin creases like the underarms, causing a rash, oozing bumps, burning, and itching. Candida can also cause oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and diaper rash.
  • Jock Itch: Caused by a fungus called tinea, jock itch is a common fungal infection that develops on the genitals, buttocks, and inner thighs. The infection can cause symptoms like redness, itching, chafing, and flaky skin.

While the above fungal skin infections are among the most common types, there are about 300 species of fungi that can infect humans. It’s essential to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment if you develop an itchy skin rash.

What Treatments Are Available?

Antifungal medications are the most common fungal skin infection treatment. These medications are available as creams, shampoos, sprays, and powers. Some people may require an oral antifungal. Your dermatologist will prescribe a medication based on the severity and location of your infection. It’s important to keep your dermatologist updated on the rash, as they may need to prescribe a stronger antifungal for persistent infections.

Can You Prevent Fungal Infections?

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent fungal skin rashes in the future. Be sure to change out of sweaty clothes after exercising and wear loose, breathable fabrics whenever possible. Avoid sharing towels, and always wear sandals when using a public locker room, pool, or shower. Your dermatologist can offer specific prevention tips based on your personal risk factors.

Fungal infections are a common and treatable skin condition. If you’re experiencing a skin rash, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can provide a prompt diagnosis and treatment. With locations in Torrance, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we offer a number of medical dermatology services to support your skin health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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