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Learn More About Fungal Skin Infections

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Published on Apr 9, 2012

Fungal infections are common in toenails, but can occur in other areas of the body. Watch this health video from About.com to learn more about fungal skin infections.

Hi I'm Doctor Howard Goldberg from the Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Laser Center in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Today for About.com we're going to learn more about fungal skin infections.

Appearance of Fungal Infections

Fungus infections of the skin are usually caused by members of the Trichophyton family or microsporum fungi. They can affect the scalp, skin and nails.

On the scalp bald patches with redness and scaling appear and broken off hairs that have the appearance of black dots may also be noted.

On the skin the lesions start out as red scaling patches and then grow outwardly in a centrifugal pattern with central clearing developing and this produces a ring-like appearance. The border of these ring-like lesions displays redness, scaling and sometimes pustules.

Fungus Spreads in Heat and Humid Areas

Heat and humidity tend to favor growth of the fungus. When palms and soles are involved the soles usually have a moccasin-like distribution of the rash, namely involving the soles of the feet as well as a small distance on the sides of the feet.

Usually two feet and one hand tend to be involved in fungus infections. Toenails may also be infected and they are usually involved much more frequently than fingernails.

Treatments for Fungal Infections

Treatment of scalp fungus involves the use of systemic agents such as Lamisil, Fluconazole, or Griseofulvin. Treatment of skin lesions can usually be effectively handled with anti-fungal cream such as Lamisil or Ketoconazole.

When nail involvement is present, the only drug which is reasonably effective is Lamisil, but this can have side effects and it has to be administered cautiously. Unfortunately there is a high recurrence rate of the fungal infections involving the nails with this drug.

Thanks for watching. To learn more visit About.com.

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