Fungal Infections

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What are Fungal Infections?

Fungal infections, also known as “ring worm” are skin diseases caused by a fungus. They can affect anyone and can appear on different areas of the body. Different types of fungi cause different types of fungal infections, and they can be contagious, spreading from one person to another. Some common types of fungal infections include:


Ringworm is not a worm at all, but a fungal skin infection. It is named for the circular shape of the rash with winding edges. Symptoms include a red, circular, flat sore that can appear alongside scaly skin. Patches or red rings may overlap. Treatment is often based on symptoms and may include antifungal medications that are put on the skin or taken by mouth.

Athlete’s Foot

This fungal infection can be found on the foot. This fungus grows best in warm, moist places such as socks, shoes, swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms. People with tight shoes, who do not change their sweaty socks often enough, or who use public pools are most likely to get athlete’s foot. Symptoms often include peeling, cracking, scaly feet, itching, burning, and blisters. It is usually treated with an antifungal medicine that is put on the skin.

Jock Itch

This is caused by a type of fungus called tinea, which loves warm, moist areas like the inner thighs, buttocks, and genitals. Infections are most likely to occur in the summer or warm, wet climates. Symptoms include itching or burning on your groin or thigh, a red, circular rash, or peeling, cracking skin. Treatment includes over-the-counter fungal medications or prescription creams. It is important to keep the affected area clean and dry and to change your underwear daily.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infections of the skin are caused by a type of yeast called candida. They are common in moist, warm, creased areas of the body such as the armpits and groin. Symptoms include a rash, patches that ooze clear liquid, itching, burning, and pimple-like bumps. Treatment may include medicated creams or anti-yeast medications taken by mouth.

Fungal Infection of the Nail

Fungal infections that affect toenails, fingernails, or nail beds is also known as onychomycosis. It usually starts as a small, lightly-colored spot on the nail that spreads deeper over time. This can cause the nail to become thicker and more brittle. Common signs include white or yellow streaks under the nail, scaling under the nail, thick or brittle nails, or lifting off of the nail bed. Treatment may include a prescription nail lacquer or antibiotics taken by mouth.

Fungal Infection FAQ

Can a fungal infection cause sepsis?

If left untreated, fungal infections can lead to sepsis.

Can fake nails cause fungus?

Improper application of artificial nails or unsanitary manicure tools can increase the risk for fungal infections.

Can a blood test detect fungal infection?

Blood tests are sometimes used to diagnose very serious fungal infections but are not generally used for fungal skin or nail infections.

Can leaving nail polish on too long cause fungus?

Leaving nail polish on for too long can cause the nails to dry out, which increases the risk of a fungal infection.

Can fingernail polish cause fungus?

If left on the nail too long, the polish can dry the nails, making it easier for fungus to grow. If you notice that the nails are stained, white, or chalky in appearance, it is best to avoid nail polish for some time.

Ideal Candidate for Fungal Infection Treatment

Individuals with any of the above symptoms or those who have had fungal infections in the past and believe they have another one can benefit from fungal infection treatment. To best diagnose your fungus and determine the most effective treatment for you, an in-office appointment is needed with Dr. Erwin, during which she can assess your affected area.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about fungal infections and possible treatment options, contact our office by calling 979-543-9933. We will be more than happy to assist you in scheduling your initial appointment to get started.