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Fungal Infections

Men, women, infants and children do get fungal infections peculiar to each.  For example, men get Jock Itch while women get fungal infections behind the ear lobes, in the crease between the nose and cheek and under the breasts.

Women more than men do get fungal nail (Onychomycosis) of the fingernails and especially those using artificial nails.  The artificial nails act as a glasshouse, a perfect place for fungal spores to germinate and flourish.

Men and women do get fungal nail on the toenails and when this happens generally the skin of the infected toes also becomes infected, swollen and red.

In both cases of fungal nail if left untreated, the nails will become damaged, can separate from the nail bed and become curved upwards, will become brown can thicken and become chalky and finally break off.  Some sufferers do suffer from aching toes/fingers, will have very bad smelling fingers and they may discharge. 

Ringworm infects us all and especially children who can become infected from pets.  It has not been generally understood that ringworm is a fungal infection.

Men, women and children do get Athletes Foot (Interdigitale) between the toes and sometimes Moccasin Foot on the soles of the feet or around the ankles and sides of the feet.

Infants get cradle cap and children can suffer from Tinea capitis somewhat similar to cradle cap in infants.

Those suffering from diabetes will have a higher propensity to become infected with fungal conditions due to the high levels of sugars in the blood stream. This group may also suffer from compromised immune systems so must be very careful with medication.  This group also suffers from fungal infections on the torso (back and stomach) more than others. For a detailed synopsis of these conditions and others see the following web sites:

www.dermnetnz.org/fungal/index.html

www.mycology.adelaide.edu.au/Mycoses/

Fungi are saprophytes (live on and gain their nourishment from dead and decaying matter). They live on different hosts such as soil, plants, animals and humans each with its own specific morphology, have different physical appearance at both the early stage and later stages of their development and at maturity.  In most cases they can be recognised by microscopy by an experienced practitioner or cultures can be taken and grown and identified in a pathology laboratory.

We would recommend that you do not try and self diagnose an infection unless it is obvious but rather seek professional help from a Doctor, Podiatrist, Dermatologist or Pharmacist.

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