What are fungal infections?

Fungal infections are infections caused by a fungus, a type of microorganism. Two common causes of fungal infections are a fungus called tinea and yeast infections caused by the fungus Candida albicans.

Some very common types of fungal infections caused by tinea include:

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Jock itch

  • Ringworm

Common yeast infections, also called candida and candidiasis, can infect other areas of the body including:

  • Esophagus
  • Digestive tract (gastroenteritis) 
  • Lungs 
  • Mouth (oral thrush)
  • Urinary tract
  • Vagina (vaginal yeast infection, vaginal thrush)

In most cases, fungal infections are treatable in generally healthy people. However, these infections are more likely to occur and can be more difficult to treat in people with weakened immune systems due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, organ transplantation, or taking steroid medications or chemotherapy. In these cases, complications of fungal infections may become life threatening. Recurring fungal infections can also be a symptom of a serious, undiagnosed, underlying disease, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes. Seek prompt medical care for recurring fungal infections including vaginal yeast infections.


What are the symptoms of fungal infections?

Symptoms of fungal infections differ depending on the type and severity of the infection, the area of the body affected, and individual factors.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

  • Itching of the feet
  • Scaling and flaking of the skin of the feet

Symptoms of jock itch

Symptoms of jock i... Read more about fungal infectionssymptoms


What causes fungal infections?

Different types of fungus cause a variety of fungal infections:


How are fungal infections treated?

Treatment of fungal infections begins with seeking regular medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows your health care professional to assess your risks of developing fungal infections and promptly order diagnostic testing for fungal infections and underlying conditions as needed. These measures greatly increase the chances of diagnosing and treating underlying causes of fun... Read more about fungal infectionstreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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