The word “fungus” is enough to make you cringe or go green in the face, rest assured that you are not alone
Most people feel sick at the thought of suffering from a fungal infection. However, are you aware that we all have several different types of fungi living on our skin at all times?
These fungi could live on your skin for years without causing any problem.
There are some factors though, that could cause the fungi to overgrow or change and lead to an infection. Data shows that there are more than 50,000 different species of fungi in the environment.
Out of that, around 200 species of fungi can be associated with diseases and only around 20 to 25 species lead to an infection in humans.
A fungal infection can be described as an invasion of one or more species of fungus on the tissues of the body.
These infections are usually categorized by the type of microorganism causing the problem, the body part that is affected, the depth to which the body has been penetrated and the form that is taken by the fungi.
While there are several types of fungal infections, they can be broadly divided into two types, superficial infections, and systemic fungal infections.
A fungal infection could occur on the surface of your skin, within a skin fold or any other area that is kept warm by your clothes and shoes.
Some of the parts that are prone to fungal infections include the mucus membranes, the lungs, the sinuses and injury sites. Some of the most common types of fungal infections include Tinea Versicolor, Jock Itch, Athlete’s Foot, Barber’s Itch, Ringworm, Fungal Nails, Intertrigo, Oral Thrush, and Vaginal Yeast Infection, to name a few.
Some of these fungal infections are more common than the others. Moreover, men are more likely to suffer from certain infections such as Jock Itch and Athlete’s Foot, whereas Vaginal Yeast Infections are obviously prevalent in women.
The severity of an infection may vary from person to person. It is more common for infections to remain confined to a small area of the skin, like the toes or nails. However, this does not mean that the infection cannot spread; if left unchecked and untreated it is possible for the fungal infection to spread on to a wider area of the skin.
Alternately, the infection could also penetrate deeper into the tissues. In fact, it is absolutely essential to control a fungal infection, because it can also easily spread from one person to the other.
Home remedies for fungal infection
- Most fungal infections can be controlled and treated, even though the procedure may take some time. In many cases, your health care provider may ask you to take some medicines and apply an antifungal soap, powder, cream or ointment, to speed up the healing process.
In addition to that you could also use several home remedies, which help in controlling the overgrowth of the fungi in your body.
- Apply some clove powder or clove oil directly on to the skin that is affected. Apart from alleviating the uncomfortable symptoms, this remedy also speeds up the healing process
- Tea tree oil is quite effective in treating yeast infections, athlete’s foot and ringworm. However, this oil is very strong and can have an adverse effect on the skin, if used incorrectly. For best results, dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in water and apply it on to the affected area.
- Soak your hands and feet in a tub of white vinegar, to cure nail fungus or an athlete’s foot. This remedy disrupts the pH balance of the skin, which in turn, interferes with the growth of fungi on the skin.
- Raw garlic is believed to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which is why it is excellent in curing fungal infections. Apply some garlic extract or garlic puree on to the area that has been affected for getting rid of the fungus faster.
- Many individuals manage to cure a fungal infection using simple remedies, only to have the problem return after a few days or weeks. In case you notice this problem too, it is absolutely essential to consult a doctor at the earliest.
Author: Dr. Izharul Hasan