What Is Fungus and What Can You Do About It

We’ve all been advised at some point never to step into community showers barefoot, or we might just go home with itchy feet. But this unwise practice isn’t the only way you can get a fungal infection. If you suspect you may be dealing with fungus, here are the signs and what you can do to alleviate the condition.

What Is Fungus?

A fungal infection is abnormal yeast, mold, or skin fungus overgrowth that typically affects the feet, the groin, or the scalp, but it can occur in other areas, too. Besides contaminated surfaces, pets and infected people can also spread fungal infections. Some common types of fungus include athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, and yeast infections.

Do I Have Fungus?

Here are the symptoms of common fungal infections:

  • Skin redness with scaling or red dots – If they appear at the bottom of the feet, you may be dealing with athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
  • Itchy skin in the groin or other moist areas, accompanied by a circular rash – Look into jock itch (tinea cruris).
  • Ring-shaped red rash – A raised outer edge suggests a ringworm infection (tinea corporis).
  • White dots on toenails or deformed, slow-growing toenails – These are clear signs of toenail fungus.
  • Redness and bumps in skin folds, accompanied by itching and burning – These symptoms can be caused by a yeast infection (candida).

How to Treat Fungus

Treatments for fungal infection may be topical or oral. Mild infections can be handled with the regular application of over-the-counter creams. More severe cases will need oral antifungals.

Getting rid of toenail fungus can be a real challenge, as oral treatments aren’t always feasible. Still, there are fairly effective topical solutions, and the option of laser therapy for stubborn infections is also available.

A home remedy for toenail or foot fungus you may want to try in the meantime is soaking your feet in mouthwash containing thymol. Additionally, making sure the skin is dry and ventilated is crucial for keeping the infection under control.

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