Fungal infections are said to affect most adults at some point in their life. They are usually not a major medical concern, although many patients seek treatment to relieve the symptoms and unappealing appearance of the condition. Common types of fungal infections of the skin include athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm and yeast infection of the skin.

What Causes Fungal Infections?

Fungal infections may be caused by direct contact with somebody who has a fungal infection. Sharing shoes, socks, bed sheets, towels and other personal items may cause fungal infections. Yeast infections are not contagious, but occur when yeast on the skin grows more rapidly than normal. Fungus thrives in warm, damp areas such as locker rooms, public pools and communal showers. Take the proper precautions when in these environments. Wearing sandals or shower shoes when in these areas may be helpful in avoiding fungal infections. Again, yeast infections of the skin are not contagious, but occur most often in moist, creased areas of the body such as the armpits and in the groin area.

What are the Symptoms of Fungal Infections?

The symptoms of fungal infections may vary depending on the type of fungal infection that is present. Athlete's foot affects the feet and may cause peeling, cracking or scaling of the skin, redness, blisters, itching and/or burning. Ringworm appears as a circular, red sore with raised edges. There may be several patches of rash on the skin and ringworm may appear on all areas of the body. Jock itch is a type of ringworm and is most common around the groin, thigh and buttocks areas. A circular rash may be present and symptoms may include itching, chafing, burning, redness, flaking, peeling and/or cracking of the skin. Yeast infection of the skin may appear anywhere on the body and may cause rash, pimples, itching, burning and/or oozing of clear fluids. Yeast infections of the nail beds may cause swelling, pus, pain and separation of the nail from the bed.

How Are Fungal Infections Treated?

Over-the-counter products such as Lamisil, Lotrimin and Micatin are commonly used to relieve fungal infections of the skin. Severe cases of fungal infections, or if over-the-counter treatments are unsuccessful, may require prescription medications or creams. Speak with a skincare professional such as a dermatologist, family doctor or nurse for further information about fungal infections and how they are treated. SkinCareGuide.com also offers further information about fungal infections of the skin.