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 fungal infections in their earliest stages.

Fungal infection treatment includes:

  • Antiseptic mouth washes for oral thrush

  • Diagnosing and treating any underlying diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Treating the high blood sugar levels of diabetes may resolve a current infection and is critical to minimizing the risk of developing recurrent fungal infections.

  • Eating yogurt or taking acidophilus supplements, which can help to correct the abnormal balance of microorganisms in the mouth and digestive tract

  • Medications, including prescription topical or oral antifungal medications such as fluconazole

In many cases, oral fungal infections (oral thrush) in infants can disappear within two weeks and may need no treatment other than watching the progress of the mouth lesions. Because oral thrush may be painful in the mouth and affect feedings, the pediatrician should still be notified if symptoms appear in an infant.

What are the possible complications of fungal infections?

Complications of fungal infections can be serious for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or those taking steroid medications or on chemotherapy. In these cases, fungal infections can spread throughout the body, causing fungal infections in vital organs, such as the heart and the brain. This can result in critical, life-threatening complications, such as:

  • Abscess formation
  • Endocarditis
  • Meningitis
  • Nephritis
  • Organ failure
  • Transplant rejection

Seek prompt medical care if you are experiencing symptoms of fungal infections and you have diabetes or HIV/AIDS, are being treating with chemotherapy, or are taking steroid medications.

Reference:

  1. Tierney LM Jr., Saint S, Whooley MA (Eds.) Current Essentials of Medicine (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
INTRODUCTION

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:

SYMPTOMS

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

CAUSES

What causes fungal infections?

Different types of fungus cause a variety of fungal infections:

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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