A red, itchy, scaly rash can be unsightly and drive you crazy. However, most yeast infections are not dangerous and can usually be easily treated with creams. If you tend to get recurrent yeast infections, talk to your healthcare provider about how to prevent the rash from coming back.
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SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES DIAGNOSIS AND TEST MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT PREVENTION
What is a skin fungus?
A fungus is a small organism such as mold or mildew. Molds are everywhere – in the air, water, and the human body. About half of the mushrooms are harmful. If any of the harmful fungi gets on your skin, it can cause a yeast infection. You may develop a rash or feel itchy.
Who is at risk of developing a fungal rash?
Anyone can get a fungal rash. Superficial skin and nail infections are reported to be the most common form of infection, affecting up to 20-25% of the world’s population at any given time. For example, an athlete’s foot often affects otherwise healthy people. You may have a higher risk of developing a skin rash if you:
- You have a weakened immune system (for example, if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs, have a disease that weakens the immune system, or are undergoing chemotherapy).
- Take antibiotics long-term or in high doses.
- Being overweight.
- Do you have diabetes?
- Try a new skincare product.
- Experience with incontinence (for example, rashes in children).
- Sweat profusely.
- they are pregnant.
What does a fungal rash look like?
A fungal skin infection often looks bright red and can spread over a large area. A fungal skin rash may also have features, including:
- The color is more intense at the edge.
- Scale more intense at the border
- Smaller, more defined lesions (pustules) at the edges of the rash area.
Where does a fungal rash appear?
The rash can appear anywhere on the body, including the nails. It is more common in areas with skin folds, such as the groin, buttocks, or thighs.
What are the different types of skin rashes?
The medical name for fungal skin infection is tinea. Types of yeast infections include:
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis): The most common type of fungal infection, this condition is often spread when people walk barefoot in public bathrooms or changing rooms. The skin between the toes turns white and begins to peel. Athletes’ feet can also affect the soles (bottom) of the feet.
Nail fungus (onychomycosis): This infection is a common foot problem. It usually affects the toenails, which become yellow and thick and break easily.
Groin itching (tinea cruris): Groin rash, and groin itching affects more men than women.
Scalp disease (tinea capitis): This rash occurs mostly in children. It causes hair loss, but with proper treatment, hair usually grows back.
Ringworm (tinea corporis): This catch-all term is what healthcare providers call a rash that doesn’t fit into any other category. The rash often forms an annular shape.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
What causes a fungal rash?
When your skin comes into contact with a harmful fungus, the infection can cause a rash to appear. For example, if you borrowed shoes from someone who had an athlete’s foot, the fungus could come into contact with your foot and infect you. Rashes are often passed from person to person or from animal to person through direct contact.
What are the symptoms of a fungal rash?
A fungal rash is often red and itchy or burning. You may have red, swollen, pimple-like bumps or scaly, scaly patches.
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS
How is a fungal rash diagnosed?
A healthcare provider may be able to diagnose a fungal rash by looking at it and asking about your symptoms. Many times the diagnosis can be confirmed by examining a scraping of the scale under a microscope (KOH preparation). In some cases, you may need a fungal culture test to identify the specific fungus and help determine the best treatment for you.
During a fungal culture test, your provider may take a small sample of skin (biopsy) or fluid (aspiration). For severe infections, you may need a blood test.
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
How is skin fungus treated?
Treatment for skin fungus includes:
- Antifungal creams, many of which are over-the-counter.
- Stronger prescription drugs that may work faster.
- Oral medications if the yeast infection is severe.
Can I treat a fungal rash at home?
Your health care provider must see the rash, especially if it is the first time the rash has appeared. Your provider can diagnose this and discuss the best course of action for treatment. Treating a fungal rash with an anti-itch cream that contains a steroid can make the infection worse and harder to treat.
How can I prevent a fungal rash?
In some people, fungal rashes tend to come back (recur) even after treatment. Recurrent infections can be caused by genetics – you may be more prone to developing these infections. These steps can help prevent the rash from recurring or developing in the first place:
- Good foot hygiene
- Change your socks and wash your feet regularly. Avoid shoes made of plastic that do not breathe.
- Do not walk barefoot, especially in places that may be wet, such as gym showers and locker rooms.
- When cutting toenails, cut straight across the nail. If you have an ingrown toenail, you may need to see a podiatrist to take care of it. And if you have a fungal nail infection, don’t use the same clippers on healthy nails and infected nails.
- Correct use of medication
If your healthcare provider has prescribed a cream (or advised you to use an over-the-counter cream), use the medicine for as long as directed. Even after you can no longer see the rash, there may be a yeast infection, so continue to apply the cream for as long as your provider recommends.
Your healthcare provider may recommend the same course of treatment for all members of your family. People living together can often pass the infection back and forth. Treating each one will help ensure that the infection goes away.
Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should regularly use an antifungal foot and nail cream to prevent infections.
Using an antifungal powder in your shoes every day can help prevent athlete’s foot.
How long will I have a skin rash?
How long treatment takes can vary from person to person. Cleaning usually takes a few days to a few weeks. However, the fungal infection can return. Talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to prevent the infection from returning.