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Fungi are found everywhere, they live in air, in the soil, on plants and in water. Some live in the human body also. But only about half of all types of fungi are harmful. Fungi are the class of parasitic plants. 

A fungal infection is caused by a fungus in which the fungus multiply and invades the skin and finally cause inflammation of the digestive tract, genitals and other body organs and tissues. Antifungal medicines are used to treat fungal diseases.

Fungi mostly reproduce via tiny spores in the air. These spores can be easily inhaled, or they can land on you. As a result of which fungal infections occurs, these fungal infections usually start in the lungs or on the skin. The people with weak immune system or those who are on the antibiotics are on the risk of getting infected by the fungal disease.

Human body has high innate immunity towards fungal infections due to the presence of fatty acid content of skin

1. pH of skin and body fluids
2. Cilia and respiratory tract
3. Transferring normal flora

Causes of fungal disease:

Fungal infection mainly attacks those people who:

• Are extremely overweight
• Are pregnant or are breast feeding
• Are on-course of antibiotics
• Have uncontrolled diabetes
• Have a weak immune system, for example, HIV/AIDS
• Came into direct contact with a person or an animal that has a fungal skin infection
• Came in direct contact with items contaminated with a fungus, for example, clothes and towels

Signs and Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms vary according to the site of infection of fungi. The common type of the sites and the infection symptom on them are given below:

1. Superficial (Infection limited to outermost layer of skin and hair)-

• Hypopigmented macules
• Black macules
• Crème-colored nodules on hair shaft

2. Cutaneous (Infection limited to deeper epidermis and as well as invasive hair and nail disease)

• Ringworm lesion of scalp
• Ringworm lesion of trunk, arms, legs
• Infection of nails
• Infection of hair shaft surface

3. Sub-cutaneous (Involving subcutaneous muscles and fascia)

• Nodules and ulcers along lymphatics at site of inoculation

4. Opportunistic(in patients with immune deficiencies who would otherwise not be infected)

• Creamy growth on various areas of body
• "Fungus ball" in tissue

Adverse effects of the problem:

Fungal disease, if not treated on time can lead to the serious skin infection that might require special medical care. Although with proper medication fungal diseases are treatable and have very little impact on the quality of life.

Preventive measures:

The best way to prevent fungal infections is to keep skin clean and dry. Maintaining a good hygiene and keeping the infected fungal things away from access is the best way to avoid any fungal infection. If you get infected with fungal infections, it is very necessary to wash your hands that come in contact with the affected area so that it is not transmitted to the other also.

Common Antifungal medicines:

The following antifungal medicines are commonly used to treat fungal diseases:

• Candid cream
• Candid lotion
• Fluka
• Forcan etc.

These drugs can be found on various pharmaceutical websites and you can buy these antifungal medications online through various online pharmacies.

Myths and facts:

Myth: Ringworm is caused by a worm

Fact: ringworm is not caused by a worm, it is a kind of fungal infection caused by a fungi called dermatophytes

Myth : Only children get ringworm

Fact: hnIt is most likely to occur in children, but you can get infected with the fungus at any age.

Diagnosis of fungal disease:

The diagnosis of the fungal infections of the skin, hair, and nails can be done by examining the characteristic appearance of affected regions.

• If a more definitive analysis of the disease is required, then culture and sensitivity testing can be used
• Systemic fungal infections may be easily be diagnosed using the blood sample tests.
KOH (potassium hydroxide) preparation: It is a simple laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis. The test uses tissue samples treated with a 20% potassium hydroxide solution to detect fungi.
• Examining the skin with a Wood's UV lamp is a new, easy and convenient method to determine the presence of a fungus.
• Confirmation is done by cultures taken from sputum, urine, blood, bone marrow, or infected sample of tissues.
• Other tests is also done such as:

1. Microscopy
2. Blood test antigen
3. X-ray scan
4. Agar Culture
5. DNA detection

Treatment for fungal diseases :

Commonly used antifungal drugs that prove to be helpful are:

• Ketoconazole: Used both as a topical agent in lotions and shampoos and given orally for systemic fungal infections.
• Fluconazole: It does not require low gastric pH for absorption. Fungicidal. CSF concentration is 70% that of plasma. It does not inhibit steroid genesis. Fungal meningitis
• Amphotericin B: It is used for treating systemic fungal disease by a slow intravenous injection. This drug can also be taken topically.
• Clotrimazole: a Topical drug used in lotions and oral tablets.
• Nystatin: It is very similar in composition to Amphotericin B but is used only as a topical drug because it is excessively toxic for systemic administration. It is not absorbed from skin and oral membranes
• Griseofulvin: It is the static drug used only in the systemic treatment of dermatophytosis.
• Flucytosine: It is a synthetic antifungal drug that is given orally for systemic infections.
• Miconazole: Broad-spectrum agent applied topically and intravenously. Superior drug for systemic infections

All these antifungal medicines are readily available online where you can buy the antifungal drugs online at very cheap rates.

Treatment using natural ways:

Fungal infections could be controlled, treated and prevented by a number of natural remedies such as certain herbs like:

• Garlic
• Turmeric
• Cinnamon
• Oregano
• Sage jewelweed
• Black walnut etc.

These herbs are very effective when applied to external fungus infection. Many of them can also be taken internally as capsules or tinctures. Herbal vinegar make an excellent remedy for fungus, as vinegar is itself antifungal.

Many essential oils have antifungal properties such as:

• Lavender Oil
• Oregano
• Lavender
• Eucalyptus
• Rose Geranium
• Peppermint
• Chamomile and Myrrh
• Peppermint oil is very useful in relieving the itching associated with many fungal infections

Aromatherapy: It is the simplest way to fight fungal infections by adding several drops of any single essential oil or combination of oils to bathwater.

A healthy diet should be maintained, a diet containing food high in yeast, such as beer, wine, bread should be avoided. Antifungal herbs mentioned above should be liberally used in the diet like turmeric and garlic etc. Food supplements like vitamin C, B complex C and E should be included in the daily diet.

Steps to improve the health:

Following tips can help you to cure a fungal infection faster and in a better way:

• Keep your body clean and dry
• Take a shower after sport or gyming
• Avoid wearing heavy and tight clothes in summer, wear breathable fabrics like cotton
• Avoid touching the infected area
• Keep your shoes dry to avoid any moisture build-up as it may invite a fungal infection

Important thing to know:

According to The Journal of investigative dermatology (2010), fungal infection is the fourth most common type of skin disease in the world.


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