Fungal infections, in humans, are a disease caused by any fungus that invades tissues, causing superficial, subcutaneous, or systemic disease.

Superficial fungal infections, also called dermatophytosis, are limited to the skin and are caused by the genera Microsporum, Trichophyton, or Epidermophyton.


Antibiotics are a risk factor for fungal infections.

People with weakened immune systems are also at risk for developing fungal infections.

Typical cases of patients with weakened immune systems are people with HIV / AIDS, people on steroid therapy and people receiving chemotherapy.

People with diabetes also tend to develop fungal infections.


Fungal infections are classified according to the levels of tissue that were originally colonized.

What parts of the body can they infect?

As mentioned above, dermatophytes can infect the outer surface of the body, where there is skin, nails or hair.

Superficial dermatitis is clinically classified according to the area of ​​the body it affects.

The detection does not necessarily reveal the responsible species of fungus, although different types of dermatophytes are preferred for specific body parts.

One type of dermatophyte may be preferred for (and therefore more often isolated from) the femoral (inguinal) folds, while it is never found in scalp skin lesions, or affecting the skin of the trunk and nails.

Fig. 1 Indicative clinical forms of fungal infections of dermatophytes. A. Facial dermatophytosis. B. Onychomycosis. C. Trunk dermatophytosis. D. Dermatophytosis of hands. E. Dermatophytosis of femoral folds. F. Dermatophytosis of the foot (tinea pedis).

Most common fungal infections

Pityriasis versicolor

Pityriasis versicolor appears in the form of spots on the trunk, neck and roots of the upper extremities. It occurs more often in summer, because a basic mode of contagion is from the sand of the beach.

For treatment, which is completed in 15 days, local or systemic treatment or a combination of the two is administered where appropriate.


Candida is a fungus that is very favored by humidity and heat, which is why candidiasis usually occurs where there are folds on the skin: under the breast, in the interdigital areas, in the femoral folds and the armpits.

The treatment is easy and fast, local, systemic or both, and its duration depends on the part of the skin where the specific fungal infection has developed.

Fungal infections on the feet

One part of the body where fungi grow easily in the summer is the feet, which is due to the heat, the humidity due to sweating of the feet, but also to the fact that many people constantly use shoes that are not well ventilated.

The symptoms of this fungus, which can occur alone or in combination, are dry skin, itching, flaking, inflammation and pustules, which often burst, creating painful and inflamed sores.


Fungal infections of dermatophytes are easily treated, if properly diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.

Treatment of skin fungal infections can be topical (with creams or lotions) when the lesions are few or local and systemic when the lesions are many.

In onychomycosis, the treatment is systemic, while the use of an antifungal nail polish can also help.

Today we have at our disposal very good antifungal drugs for both local and systemic treatment.

But their prevention was, and stills remains the best treatment.


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