Diseases Caused by Fungus: Types, Symptoms & Treatment
Fungal infections are a common problem in individuals with sensitive skin and poor immunity.
Diseases caused by fungus occur when this microorganism takes over a specific body part, and the immunity system in humans finds it challenging to deal with such infections.
Since the disease is contagious, individuals should consult a doctor at the earliest. Keep reading to learn more about the infections caused by fungus.
What Is Meant by Fungal Diseases?
Individuals should know that different fungi variants cause different fungal diseases. Fungi are multicellular microorganisms that produce filamentous structures called moulds. Scientifically, these microorganisms can invade a human body and colonise it gradually.
Individuals can get fungal diseases by inhaling or coming in contact with the spores released during fungi reproduction. Generally, the areas surrounding the nails, skin, and lungs are infected first. These spores can penetrate the skin and infect the vital organs causing recurring infections.
Moreover, treating fungal diseases is challenging as the microorganism can re-infect the patient by finding a suitable environment. The symptoms of mild infection are generally rash or redness in a specific area.
In critical cases, the fungi can infect the lungs imitating the illness caused by bacterial or viral pneumonia. Fungal diseases like bloodstream infections and fungal meningitis can cause significant damage to the organs.
Let’s check the list of all diseases caused by fungus in humans. This will help you have a better understanding.
What Are the Types of Fungal Diseases?
Here is a list of diseases caused by fungi commonly found in humans.
- Athlete’s Foot: Tinea pedis or Athlete’s foot infects the skin around the feet, nails and hands. The dermatophytes, a fungi group that grows in humid and warm areas between human toes, causes this infection.
- Jock Itch: Jock itch is a fungal infection occurring in the groin region, buttocks and inner thighs of humans. Dermatophyte is a common fungus that causes this disease in humans as they can survive in warm and humid areas.
- Ringworm: Ringworm is a form of fungal infection that affects the scalp and skin caused by Dermatophytes.
- Yeast Infection: Candida Albicans causes yeast infection and infects the gastrointestinal tract, genitals, skin, mouth and urinary tract. Scientifically, small amounts of Candida Albicans reside in the human body and skin. The over multiplication of these fungi can cause yeast infection.
- Onychomycosis: Onychomycosis infection occurs in toenails, fingernails, and nail beds. It is also known as Tinea Unguium.
Additionally, certain fungi variants don’t cause infections in humans but can weaken the immune system.
Let’s check the symptoms of fungal infection to keep a tab over the bodily changes.
What Are the Symptoms of Fungal Diseases?
The symptoms of fungal infection may vary from person to person. However, the common symptoms include-
- Scaly skin
Here are some symptoms of severe fungal infection-
- Muscle pain
- Fast heartbeat
What Are the Damages Caused by Fungal Diseases in Humans?
Ignoring fungal diseases can cause significant damage to the body. Some of the harmful effects of fungal infections are -
- Fungi can increase the risk of allergic and asthmatic diseases in humans.
- It can damage the vision or cause eye infections leading to blindness.
- Fungal invasion in the gut can cause ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcers, food allergies, Crohn’s disease and alcoholic liver diseases.
- Severe fungal infection can cause neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
It is essential to know the risk factor linked with the said disease. Individuals who are prone to fungus disease should opt for routine medical checkups.
Who Are at Risk of Suffering From Diseases Caused by Fungus?
Individuals should know that multiple factors can lead to fungal infections in humans. For instance, environmental or seasonal changes increase the risk of fungus exposure.
- Athletes or individuals who sweat heavily and work out in humid environments are prone to fungal diseases.
- Walking barefoot in showers, gyms, damp ground, or public places can also increase the chances of fungal infection.
- Individuals with poor blood circulation and poor immunity are prone to fungal infection. The reduction of immunity response worsens the conditions.
- Women in their postmenopausal years have lower acidity levels in the vagina leading to yeast infections.
- People suffering from medical conditions like immunodeficiency disorders and nutrient deficiencies are prone to fungal infections as these conditions decrease immunity. People who smoke regularly or suffer from stress are also vulnerable to fungal diseases.
- People having minor injuries or cuts can be affected by fungus as open wounds left untreated affect the tissues underneath the skin.
- Cancer patients are more prone to get affected as such treatments can reduce the body’s ability to fight fungal infections.
Let’s check how this disease is diagnosed. An earlier diagnosis helps to understand the causes of fungus disease and receive the appropriate treatment.
How Is Fungal Disease Diagnosed?
A doctor analyses the infected area and growth to identify fungal disease. They may suggest the following diagnosis-
- Doctors usually scrape the scaling skin off a patient’s skin and send it for examination.
- In case of yeast infection, a doctor might examine the cervix and vaginal walls. They might scrape some vaginal cells for further examination.
Let’s check the treatment methods suggested by doctors for the said disease.
What Are the Treatment Methods for Fungal Diseases?
These are the standard treatment processes suggested by doctors to treat fungal diseases.
- Medical practitioners suggest the application of sprays, cream and shampoos to treat fungal infection. There are multiple medications and oral solutions that damage fungal cell or fungus walls.
- Doctors may prescribe an antiviral drug to treat fungal infections.
- Tablets or capsules like anidulafungin, fluconazole and micafungin treat severe fungal infection. However, these medications have adverse side effects and must be taken under a doctor’s administration.
Now, let’s check how to prevent fungus infection.
What Are the Preventive Measures to Control Diseases Caused by Fungus?
The ways to prevent diseases caused by fungus and their impact are as follows:
- Individuals should maintain sanitisation. They should wash their hands before and after taking a meal.
- One should keep their skin dry and clean.
- It is essential to avoid sharing toothbrushes, towels and personal care products.
- Always wear shoes and slippers in public showers, wet grounds, gyms, locker rooms, etc.
- Sanitise or clean car handles, public seats, gym equipment, etc., before and after usage.
Now that individuals know all about diseases caused by fungus, they will be able to quickly identify the symptoms. Individuals should consult a dermatologist or doctor when symptoms of fungal infection occur. This would help them prevent any disease caused by a fungus and its impact.