Fungal Infection On Skin : Everything You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Dr Jaswine Chew Sze Huey on Aug 1, 2019


Fungus are microorganisms that reproduce through tiny spores in the air. It can be seen in many form or organism such as yeasts, molds and some familiar mushroom. Over exposing towards this microorganism or contaminated environment can cause the spores to spread through inhalation or land on our skin.

Harmful fungus invade the body, making it difficult to kill as they can survive in the environment and disturb the healing process.

Fungal infections usually start in the lungs and skin. It occurs when the immune system of the body can’t handle the invading fungus that takes over an area of the body. As your immune body systems is weakened, you are likely easy to get infected by the fungus.


Athletes Foot

Athlete’s Foot

Common fungal infection that affects foot area are called Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. This fungal infection grows in the condition that provides moisture, moist and warm environment. It commonly happens to the athletes that practice sport because of the condition of socks, shoes, sports equipment and locker rooms as they are sweating. In reality, it can be affected by anyone that doesn’t take care of their hygiene.

Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis happens when Candida overgrowth in women caused by Candida albicans. Disruptions of imbalance of the bacteria and yeast in the vagina may be related due to the antibiotic, stress, hormone imbalances and poor eating habits.  Fungal toenail infections and diaper rash also can be caused by Candida infections as it grows inside the body such as mouth, throat, gut and vagina. The number of it can multiply as it grows and lives depending and changing in a way that encourages its growth.

Jock Itch

Jock Itch

Differ from athletes’ foot, this fungal infection affecting the skin. This skin disease known as Tinea cruris grows in a warm and damp environment such as in summer or in warm, and humid areas. Commonly Jock itch can happen to the body part or area that produces moist condition like groins, buttocks, and inner thighs. It can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or any object that can be infected by the fungus.

Fungal Nail Infection

Fungal Nail Infection

A common fungal infections of the fingernails or toenails call onychomycosis. It caused unwanted appearance to the nails such as discoloured, thick, crack or break and also unwanted pungent smell. It appears on the body as an itchy rash.



Because it appears in the shape of circular rash, this skin disease is called ringworm or dermatophytosis. Ringworm caused by fungus can be infected to any part of the body skin. Ringworm in the feet it’s being called athlete’s foot. It appears to be red in colour and caused itchy to the skin. Anyone can get ringworm as the fungus can live on skin surfaces, and also home needs such as clothing, towels and bedding. Fungal infection on scalp may appear with this skin disease.

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor happened when the fungus growing out of control on the skin. The fungus interferes with the normal pigmentation of the skin and caused small discoloured patches to appear. It may appear both in lighter or darker pigmented skin. People that live in tropical and subtropical areas in the world are likely been affected by it.



Fungal infection on face that affected the area of the mouth and throat. It’s called oropharyngeal candidiasis. This infection is caused by a fungus called Candida, the same fungus that causes vaginal infection. While esophageal candidiasis, is  an infection in the esophagus area, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The people with HIV/AIDS are commonly infected to this infection.

Interface Dermatitis Reaction

Interface Dermatitis (ID) Reaction

A skin disease known as autoeczematisation that cause itchy feels to the skin with small water-filled blisters. Commonly occurs at the sides of the fingers, hands, chest or arms.



Fungal infections occur to most parts of the body that provides an optimal condition for them to live, grow and reproduce. Most of the infections are caused by the same type of fungus but happen at different parts of the body like vaginal fungal infection and thrush. The usual area that easy to infect are mouth, throat, hips, thighs and toes which exposed to the humid and moist condition.

Fungal Infections Usually Appear

Fungal Infections Usually Appear


Fungal infections symptoms similar to each other because some of them are caused by the same type of fungus or bacteria. It will categorise differently based on its infected area.

Athlete’s Foot-Red rash, itchy, chronic dryness, scaling on the soles of the foot

Vaginal Yeast Infection- Vaginal itching or soreness, feeling pain during sexual intercourse, pain or discomfort when urinating, abnormal vaginal discharge

Jock Itch- Reddish brown appearance

Symptoms of a Fungal InfectionFungal Nail Infection – Discoloured (yellow, brown or white), thick nail, fragile or cracked

Ringworm- Itchy skin, ring-shaped rash, red, scaly, cracked skin and hair loss. Appear between 4 to 14 days after have been directly contact to the fungus.

Tinea Versicolor- Patches of skin discolouration that appear lighter or darker than normal, skin discolouration on the trunk, shoulders, chest or arms. Mild itching, scaling

Thrush- White patches on the inner cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth and throat. Redness or soreness, cotton-like feeling in the mouth, loss of taste, pain while eating or swallowing, cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth.

Symptoms of a Fungal Infection

Interface Dermatitis (ID) Reaction- localised or widespread vesicular lesions, red patches with raised red bumps, deep, raised, bruise-like area,on the shins, pinkish red spots that resemble targets, light pink teardrop-shaped bumps.


Fungal infection can infect human body skin and system through many ways and by different types of fungus. As the environment happen to provide the optimal conditions for them to reproduce, small mistakes like cracked in your nails or skin can allow the germs to enter and produce the infection.

Some fungus like Candida normally lives in the mouth, throat and the rest of the digestive tract without causing any harm to the body. But, when the number of it are multiplying triggered by the surrounding condition that encourages it to grow, it will become harmful and contagious to the children.

Weak immune system and medicines also trigger infection to occur if the antibiotics affect the natural balance of microbes in the body system. Other sources like hormones which play an important role in human body system can encourage the growth of fungus.

Causes of Fungal Infections


These tips can help in preventing fungal infection from occurring to human skin and body system.

It also helps ease the symptoms if infection occurs:

  1. Taking care of your feet and toes like keeping your feet dry, especially between the toes, change socks regularly and protects your feet in public places are the basic steps in avoiding nail fungal infections.  Practice wearing light, well-ventilated and alternate use of shoes will help. Don’t ever share your shoes with somebody else and don’t walk barefoot in the open areas are the most important tips to be kept in mind
  2. Keep your hands and feet clean and dry. Always wash your hands regularly and sanitized it.
  3. Clip your fingernails and toenails short and keep them clean. Don’t share your nail clippers with other people in order to prevent either infection from others nor yours.
  4. Maintain good oral health such as rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after using inhaled corticosteroids. Clean your dentures and see your dentist for regular checkups.
  5. Avoid sexual activity while a partner are being infected by the infectionFungal infection can be transferred from one area to the other like genitals to mouth. Always wear cotton underwear on a daily basis and change it regularly to keep fungus from been infected.

Prevent Fungal Infections


Some of the fungal infections can be difficult to cure without antifungal treatment. Most of the antifungal treatment will be prescribed with antifungal pills or medicine taken by mouth. There are some antifungal cream that available in the market but it takes several months to a year for the infection to go away.

If you’d like to know more about fungal infection and its solution, please call us to arrange a consultation session. We are available from 8am to 12 midnight DAILY.

Call/Whatsapp: 012-662-5552

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