About Fungal Infections
Fungal infections of the skin, nails, and hair can be really uncomfortable to manage, especially when it happens to our children. At Summerlin Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Reuel Aspacio treats all stages of fungal infections at his practice in Las Vegas, NV. Getting a proper medical diagnosis by a dermatologist can not only help you relieve the symptoms, but it can also put a stop to the spread of the infection. If you are treating yourself or your child with over-the-counter medication and it is not working, or a running fever is involved, you should call us to schedule a visit with Dr. Aspacio as soon as possible for testing and treatment. Symptoms and treatment can vary, but most fungal infections consist of a rash and may be treated with an antifungal medication.
You may have a superficial infection on your skin, hair, and/or nails that may require some tests for diagnosis. Keep in mind that an untreated or under-treated fungal infection can lead to a systematic infection that can spread into all aspects of your body and leave scars on your skin. Make your appointment with Summerlin Dermatology today.
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Fungal infections are caused by contracting a fungus within the skin, an open wound, or in a mucous membrane, and are very common. You are more likely to get a fungal infection if your immune system is compromised. You may be immunocompromised if you have uncontrolled diabetes, are going through chemotherapy treatments for cancer, have an untreated HIV infection, or are taking medications that suppress your immune system. The more familiar way of contracting a fungal infection is by exposure and letting it spread in warm, dark creases on or in your body.
Dr. Aspacio believes that even though it may seem like an everyday fungal infection you can treat at home with an over-the-counter medication, you should see a doctor if it persists. Why? Fungal infections can be very aggressive, and spread externally and internally just like any other infection. It could also look like a fungal infection, but you may actually have something else like a bacterial infection or psoriasis. It is best to get a diagnosis from a practiced dermatologist who has your best interest in mind and to help reduce the symptoms and scarring.
Common fungal infections
Athlete's foot or tinea pedia
Athlete's foot appears on the bottoms of the feet and in between the toes as a rash that burns and itch. It is very easily contracted and contagious. You can get it by not wearing shower shoes in the locker room, or by wearing sweaty socks and shoes with the fungus present (it's the perfect space for fungal growth). There are many over-the-counter medications for Athlete's foot. If you have tried to cure Athlete's foot at home with no success, it may be time to see a dermatologist. Having raw, stinging skin between the toes and on the soles of your feet can be a chronic condition that needs medical attention before it becomes an aggressive infection.
Fingernail and toenail fungus
Nail fungus of the fingernails and toes may seem simple to treat. However, as harmless as it may seem, nail fungus can be a symptom of an overlying illness or medical condition that needs to be checked out. It can disfigure the appearance of the nail shape and color. Some patients also report to having a foul smell to their nails as well.
Tinea cruris, commonly know as "jock itch" to athletes, is a fungal infection of the skin of the inner thighs (the crease between the thigh and the buttocks), buttocks, and genitals. It manifests as a red rash that turn into painful, itchy blisters. Not all athletes get tinea cruris. You may be prone to getting this fungal infection if you excessively sweat, have poor hygiene, or are overweight. Dr. Aspascio can diagnose and treat this infection with topical antifungal medications and other treatments to relieve symptoms and to help prevent spreading or scarring.
Beard, body, and scalp ringworm are contagious fungal infections that show up as a large circle on the skin and are irritating and itchy. There is not actually a worm inside of your skin. Ringworm is treated with anti-fungal medicated creams or ointments.
Tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus called Malassezia furfur. The overgrowth of this fungus presents as white or red spots with scales on the neck, upper chest, back, and arms. Some patients come into our office asking about their "sun spots" since it is more noticeable during the summer after sun exposure, but really it is a fungal infection. Although it is often asymptomatic, the white or red spots are visible.
Yeast infections are another common fungal infection. We see patients who have a candida (yeast) infection on their skin, in the mouth (oral thrush), or in mucous membranes. Cutaneous candidiasis appears on the skin as a red, itchy rash along the folds and creases of the body, but can reside anywhere on the body.
Your treatment will require some type of antifungal medication. These can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. When the at-home remedies have no effect or if the condition worsens, we recommend seeing a dermatologist for a more in-depth look. In life-threatening situations with fever and a spreading infection, go to the emergency room of your local hospital as soon as possible.
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Skin Care For All Ages
Fungal infections can be very uncomfortable and sometimes difficult to treat (especially when they are contagious) at any age. Our team of highly qualified dermatology professionals can examine your or your child’s skin if you are having trouble alleviating the ailment with at-home remedies. If you think the skin condition needs urgent medical attention, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment or a recommendation for next steps.