Mycoses are infections caused by fungi. As there are several types of them, the diseases caused by these microorganisms are also varied.
When talking about those that affect the skin, hair and nails, the most common fungi cause superficial mycoses — the deep ones, in turn, can reach internal organs and cause serious health problems.
Fungi are transmitted from person to person, from animals to person and also from nature to person, involving plants, soil and thorns.
The most common forms of contamination are from person to person, due to proximity and contact with the affected area. Swimming pools, sand, bathing areas, infected animals, and the ground are all potential places to acquire a fungus.
However, there are people who have a genetic predisposition to fungal diseases and may need closer medical follow-up to treat them.
Main types of skin ringworm
Also known as onychomycosis, it is an infection caused by dermatophyte fungi: Epidermophyton, Trichophyton and Microsporum. They can change the color (it makes it yellow or white), the shape, the texture (it makes it thicker) and it can peel off the nail or break it.
The advice of the specialists consulted, in order to avoid this type of mycosis, is to take good care of the nails, not to share nail polish and materials to cut them, to avoid gel nails, not to keep your hand wet for a long time and to reduce the use of detergents and nail polish removers. Diabetes and genetic and acquired diseases that decrease immunity also favor onychomycosis.
Treatment: is made with antifungal medicines in the form of cream, nail polish or pills. Normally, it takes six months of treatment for fingernails and up to a year for toenails, which is one of the most difficult mycoses to treat, as the fungi feed on the keratin present in the nails.
Pityriasis versicolor, called “white cloth” is a fungal infection caused by the fungus malassezia furfur. It produces a substance that prevents the skin from producing melanin when exposed to the sun, causing white (hypochromic) spots on the skin. Brown, red and dark spots with scaling may also appear.
Treatment: it can be topical, with the use of cream imidazole derivatives or in the form of oral tablets.
This is a fungal infection that can mainly affect the areas between the toes. In these places, scaly, erythematous, itchy lesions appear.
It is important to wear synthetic socks to allow perspiration and change them at least once a day. In addition, it is recommended to sanitize your shoes and try to rotate them, so as not to use them on consecutive days.
When bathing, especially if you are outside, don’t forget your individual slippers so you don’t step directly on the floor, because a wet place, in which many people step, can harbor fungi. Dry your feet well afterwards and, in extreme cases, use a hair dryer to do so.
Treatment: based on the use of local antifungal creams or gels and measures that keep the feet dry and reduce excessive sweating.
This is a fungal infection on the skin of Organs genitals and thighs, which can appear when there is excessive and low moisture in the immune system. They are caused by the fungus Tinea crurisbeing common in people who wear very tight or synthetic clothes, which do not let the body perspire sweat.
In addition to general guidelines, such as keeping the region dry (especially in summer, pool and sea), to avoid it, it is necessary to assess the presence of diabetes, diseases or medications that reduce immunity.
Treatment: it is performed by the dermatologist, who may order tests to confirm the diagnosis (direct mycological examination and culture), subsequently indicating topical or oral antifungals.
This type of ringworm is caused by the fungus Candida albicans and mainly affects areas of the oral mucosa and the genital regions of men and women, but it can also reach the skin, mouth, diaper area, nails, hands, armpits and feet. Vaginal candidiasis appears in times of low immunity or antibiotic treatments, and in cases of poor hygiene habits.
Oral candidiasis mainly affects babies or children in general, also because of the slow development of the immune system.
Treatment: Genital candidiasis should be treated with ointments and oral pills or for local use, while oral candidiasis requires the application of antifungal agents in the form of a gel, liquid or mouthwash, always with variations, depending on the severity of the case.
Impingem is the popular name given to you had corporeala disease caused by three species of dermatophyte fungi: Epidermophyton, Trichophyton and Microsporum. They are considered common skin mycoses and can affect various regions of the body. Its appearance is characterized by a red rash with lighter skin in the middle.
Treatment: is made with antifungal agents such as clotrimazole, ketoconazole, isoconazole or terbinafine ointments, but depending on the intensity, antifungal tablets may be necessary.
Known as Tinea capitis, is caused by fungi that can reach the scalp, such as zoophilic ones (which the patient acquires in contact with animals); anthropophilic (infection occurs between individuals of the human species); and geophilic (where soil is the source of fungi). They can cause hair loss, scalp psoriasis, alopecia, atopic dermatitis and more.
Treatment: requires the use of antifungal drugs such as terbinafine, itraconazole or fluconazole.
General alerts from the experts
The increase in humidity and heat favors the appearance of fungi, so to prevent contamination, it is important to keep the skin dry and healthy, in addition to paying attention to any different signs in the body.
Many people have recurrent yeast infections, so at the first signs of ringworm it is necessary to seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis. The disease can be confused with allergy and other problems, which is why it is so important to identify changes early on. Treatment depends on the type of ringworm and the area it has affected.
Monitoring is essential, as some medicines interact with other medicines and some can even cause liver changes, especially if the patient uses or used alcoholic beverages.
Superficial mycoses usually do not progress to more serious problems, however, as this diagnosis shows that nails, hair and skin are not healthy, it is possible that other health problems may appear, such as erysipelas — an infectious process of the skin, which can reach the cell tissue fat. In addition, other microorganisms, such as bacteria, are more likely to infect the skin when it has some type of mycosis.
Sources: Barbara Carneirodermatologist, physician from the FTC (Faculty of Technology and Science) in Salvador, specialist in dermatology from Ipemed (Institute of Research and Medical Education of Minas Gerais); Carolina Milanez, dermatologist, physician from Unioeste (State University of Western Paraná), with a postgraduate degree in cosmiatry from Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo); and Jader Freire Sobral Filhophysician, master and doctor from the UFPB (Federal University of Paraíba), dermatologist and professor of the medical course at Unipê (Centro Universitário de João Pessoa).