1. What is a fungal infection?
A fungal infection is a disease caused by infection by microbes called fungi. These infections may be superficial, localised skin infections or deep tissue infections which may further spread to other body parts.
2. What parts of the body can be affected by fungal infections?
Mild fungal infections affect skin (skin folds, between toes), nails and lungs, but the infection may spread further to the deeper layers of skin, muscles, connective tissues and bones. Advanced cases include fungal meningitis of the brain and septicemia of the blood.
3. How do fungal infections spread?
Fungal infections develop when the skin comes in contact with fungal spores or via inhalation of spores. These infections then spread further from within the skin folds into deeper tissues. Whenever there is break in continuity of skin, the fungi can spread further into muscles, connective tissues and bones. They can further spread by bloodstream to other organs like the brain and kidneys.
4. How will the doctor diagnose this condition?
Fungal infections can be diagnosed clinically by detailed history and characteristic signs and symptoms like appearance of infected nails,and skin folds. Other laboratory tests include microscopic examination such as potassium hydroxide preparation, antigen and antibody testing,fungal culture, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and blood culture.
5. Is treatment available for fungal infections?
Yes. Treatment options for fungal infection include
- topical/oral antifungal agents like ketoconazole, miconazole, terbinafine, fluconazole, miconazole
-Surgery may be required in advanced cases to remove fungal mass