There are three common fungal diseases
The common dermatophytic infections
- Superficial fungal infections or Dermatophytosis.
- Tenia Versicolor.
The “Ring Worm” infections are the commonest. They appear on the skin in the form of red colored rings with scaling and intense itching. These infections are classified according to the site where the fungus invades.
Chronic and difficult to treat fungal infections
Fungal infections of the nail are very long standing and chronic. Especially toe nail infection is the most difficult to eradicate.
Treatment of superficial fungal infections
Clotrimazole and Miconyzole creams are very effective treatment modalities. However, in widespread or in nail and hair infections one has to choose systemic treatment. Grisiofulvin and Ketoconazole are tablets which are quite effective. However, for nail infections, Itroconazole is the most effective drug. Unfortunately, it is quite costly for routine use in India.
Source of fungal infections
The fungi can infect a person from three sources
Preventive measures for fungal infections
- The soil – Geophilic Fungi.
- The pet animals – Zoophilic Fungi.
- Human beings – Antrophilic Fungi.
Good hygiene, drying of body folds and anti–fungal powders can be effective preventions. However diabetes and obesity remain predisposing factors and have to be tackled for complete cure.
The clinical manifestations of candidiasis
There are two common forms:
- Oral candidiasis.
- Intertrigoneous candidiasis.
- Candidial vulvo vaginitis.
Oral Candidiasis presents with white patches on the tongue. Intertrigoneous Candidiasis presents with raw erosions and oozing lesions in the body folds like the thighs, under the breasts and in between the toes. Candidial Vulvo Vaginitis presents with a white vaginal discharge and soreness. Physiological predisposing factors are obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, hot and humid weather and wearing tight garments.
Treatment of candidiasis
Clotrimazole lotion or Pessaries can be given for localized disease whereas fluconazole capsules are effective for extensive or recurrent disease.