Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Skin


Fungal Culture Skin

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What is this test?

Fungal culture skin is performed on a sample of skin to check for the fungal growth on it. This test helps to know whether you have a superficial fungal infection or not.

What is a superficial fungal infection?

Fungal organisms are found anywhere in the environment. They exist as two forms yeasts and molds. The fungal organisms that exhibit a temperature-dependent switch between these two forms are known as dimorphic. These organisms can cause infections in individuals with poor immunity.

Candida species are the most common form of yeasts that cause fungal infections. These fungal organisms cause bloodstream infection with involvement of other organs. Cryptococcus species are another form of yeasts which can cause infections especially in individuals with poor immunity. Aspergillus genus members are a form of molds which can cause diseases and can trigger the allergic reactions in many individuals. Rhizopus, Mucor, Rhizomucor etc are other forms of molds that rarely cause infection. Histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, sporotrichosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, and chromoblastomycosis are fungi that are dimorphic in nature. These fungal organisms exist as yeast form in infected individuals (host) and as a mold form in the environment.

Fungal infections can occur in two ways: a superficial fungal infection or a deep tissue fungal infection. Deep tissue fungal infections can be subcutaneous fungal infections (on or under the skin) and systemic mycoses (infections affecting internal organs). Subcutaneous fungal infections or local fungal infections involve the skin, mouth and/or vagina. Systemic mycoses (fungal infections) affects the internal organs.

A superficial fungal infection occurs only the skin and is mainly caused by dermatophytes or yeasts. These infections are not very serious and rarely cause serious illness. It can occur in normal individuals and who have poor immunity. These fungal infection on the skin are very common and treatable. It mainly affects the skin, mouth, or genital areas. Types of skin fungal infections include Athlete’s foot (an infection that affects the foot), vaginal yeast infections (Candida infections in women), jock itch (fungal skin infection), or ringworm infections.

Dermatophyte, ringworms, Candida species, Malassezia, Neoscytalidium dimidiatum/hyalinum, etc are the common fungal organisms that cause skin fungal infections. The main signs and symptoms of skin fungal infections are fever, redness of the skin, itching, cracking or peeling skin, skin blisters, scaly skin, swelling, skin rash, burning skin, etc.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal growth on the skin. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of tissue skin fungal infections such as fever, redness of the skin, itching, cracking or peeling skin, skin blisters, scaly skin, swelling, skin rash, burning skin, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for skin fungal infections. However, your doctor may ask to perform a susceptibility testing on the fungi isolated from this culture test to determine the antifungal treatment.

Also known as Fungal Culture and Sensitivity Skin.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fungal Culture Skin. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fungal Culture Skin.

No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors.

If the culture test is positive it may indicate the growth of fungal organisms on the skin. It may indicate the presence of skin fungal infections. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results, along with the physical symptoms to diagnose the exact infection.

If the culture test is negative it means no growth of fungal organisms is detected from the skin sample

Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe growth observed depends on the type of the fungal organism that grows
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