Body Fungus

Battling Body Fungus

Body fungus, which is also known as ringworm of the body, is a fungal infection that appears on the surface of the skin. The medical term for it is tinea corporis and it is manifested as patches on the body. However, not all patches are indicative of a fungal infection and so for accurate assessment and appropriate treatment and microscopic examination of affected skin cells will be needed. A doctor may also recommend a culture test to confirm diagnosis.

Body fungus is not caused by random contact with any kind of fungi – given that our everyday life is rampant with differing kinds of fungi this could be an easy misconception. Skin problems are caused only by some kinds of fungi and these are called dermatophytes and an infection stemming from them is called dermatophytosis. These dermatophytes live on the keratin layer at the top of the skin and do not penetrate below that surface. They also do not take up residence in areas near mucous membranes. It is important to note though that we can get body fungus from contact with other infected humans, from interactions with pets or from sharing some item of clothing. It does not often happen that a fungal infection is transmitted through the air and so the urban myth that locker rooms and public showers are the source of fungi is not scientifically proven.

Body fungus appears as a circle – which originally got the disease misidentified as being caused by ringworms. The circle sometimes expands outwards as the fungal infection spreads. The skin inside the circle appears scaly and there is usually the urge to scratch.

There are topical and systemic treatment options for this problem. There are very effective anti-fungal creams and powders in the market today that will take care of the skin appearance in a couple of weeks. In the case of a particularly stubborn case of fungus, there is also the option of oral medications and these are usually prescribed for a stretch of three months or so.

It is commonly held that moisture and heat combine to produce conditions that are conducive for fungal growth. While it is unclear whether this applies to body fungus, good hygiene habits will definitely help rather than cause harm. So washing after exercise and using clean towels and clean clothes is good advice to follow. It is also a good idea to wear clothes that allow air circulation especially in the hot summer months. Avoiding synthetic clothing or very tight outfits make help in preventing body fungus for this reason also. It is also a good idea to avoid walking around bare feet in public areas where there is stagnant water.

Skin fungus is also sometimes noted to be a hereditary condition and so a patient should assess the family medical history and present these facts when consulting with a doctor. This will also help in figuring out the exact source of the fungal infections and help with the appropriate treatment schedule.

Body fungus has the potential to be an embarrassing and aggravating problem and it is to be treated as soon as the first signs appear. If it is ignored, it can become infected and this can lead to pus and can lead to a longer healing period. Since recurrence is a possibility, those who have had body fungus diagnosed and treated should stay alert to future appearances and treat them at the earliest possible.

Dietary changes and inclusion of probiotics are also supposed to help in preventing future eruptions of body fungus.  A trained herbalist may also be able to help with finding natural cures for those who deal with chronic body fungus.