Fungal infections

If you’ve been walking around the gym changing room barefoot, it’s only a matter of time before you get Athlete’s foot!  There are a variety of fungal infections, and most of them are easy to treat, as they rarely spread below the skin 7포커 다운로드. Fungi live in soil, the air, on plants and in some cases, in the human body! Here’s the ABC of these infections, and what you can do to prevent and treat them.

Who gets fungal infections?

  • in healthy people, fungi can cause skin or nail infections which is rarely harmful to one’s health.
  • however, there are some fungi that can lead to severe disease in those who have a weak immune system.

People who are at risk of systemic fungal infection include:

  • cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy
  • HIV/AIDs patients
  • patients undergoing bone marrow transplants
  • organ transplant patients
  • patients with uncontrolled diabetes
  • people with poor circulation
  • people taking medication that suppresses their immune system (i.e. corticosteroids, TNF-inhibitors)
  • patients with skin trauma

Different groups of fungal infections:

  • there are 4 groups of fungal infections in humans, depending on the level of penetration into body tissue:
  • superficial: the fungus grows on the skin surface or hair
  • cutaneous: the fungus grows only in the upper/superficial layers of skin, nails or hair
  • subcutaneous: the fungus penetrates deeper to involve subcutaneous, connective tissue or bone
  • systemic: a deep fungal infection infecting internal organs, often very serious or even fatal as it can spread widely through the body

Different types of fungal infections:

  • there are over 1 million different fungal species on Earth. Of these, only about 300 can make humans ill
  • some examples of fungal infections include:

some examples of fungal infections include:

  • Tinea infections (ringworm, pityriasis versicolor) and fungal nail infections
  • Candidiasis yeast that normally lives on skin and mucous membranes, but causes symptoms in overgrowth; examples include oral thrush, genital thrush, or invasive diseases in the immune-compromised)
  • Aspergillosis (a common mould that lives indoors and outdoors; affects the lungs, sinuses, skin or can cause a fungus ball known as an Aspergilloma)
  • Blastomycosis (a fungus that lives in moist soil, rotting wood and leaves; causes flu-like symptoms in 50% of cases and can spread to skin and bones)
  • Histoplasmosis (a fungus found in association to bird and bat droppings; causes flu-like symptoms that can last for weeks to months)
  • Sporotrichosis (a fungus that lives in soil, on plants and decaying vegetation; causes a small nodule on the hand, finger or arm where the fungus enters a break in the skin which later becomes an ulcer or open sore; can also spread to joints, bone or central nervous system)
  • Cryptococcus neoformans and gattii infections (a fungus that lives in soil; can cause Meningitis or a lung infection)
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia/PCP (most frequent and often severe opportunistic infection in immune-compromised and AIDs patients)
  • Mucormycosis (a fungus found in soil, decaying organic matter, compost piles, leaves and rotting wood; can cause lung, sinus and skin infections)
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How can fungal infections be prevented?

a) Ringworm/ Tinea infections and fungal nail infections:

  • keep hands and feet clean and dry
  • avoid being barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • never share nail clippers or nail scissors
  • don’t share sporting equipment (i.e. helmets)
  • clean and dry sporting gear after use
  • change your socks and underwear daily, avoid synthetic fibres
  • wear shoes that allow air to circulate freely
  • try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row
  • wash your hands with soap and water after handling your pets
  • if your pet has ringworm, take your pet to a vet for treatment as soon as possible
  • only use beauty salons that sterilise their equipment thoroughly, or bring your own equipment for the beauty therapist to use
  • don’t share bath towels and face cloths

b) Prevention of other fungal infections:

PLEASE NOTE: patients who have weakened immune systems should preferably avoid the following activities or situations altogether, or be very careful if they can’t avoid it.

  • wear protective clothing such as shoes, gloves, long pants and long-sleeve shirts when working in the garden
  • wear gloves when working with moss, soil or manure
  • avoid caves
  • avoid cleaning areas of excessive bird or bat droppings – call in professional people for the task
  • avoid areas of extreme dust, or wear a special mask (i.e. construction or excavation sites)
  • disinfect and clean any wounds, cuts or scrapes with soap and warm water
  • remove any splinters or thorns
  • wear protective eyewear, especially when in contact with plant matter (this applies especially to agricultural workers)
  • if you wear contact lenses, follow the correct contact lens care practices
  • exercise caution when cleaning or renovating old buildings