Fungal Infections

Fungi are widespread in our environment and come from spore bearing plants that have no chlorophyll. They are commonly known as mold, mildew, and yeast. Because fungus is so prevalent, it is inevitable that a certain amount of fungi lands on the skin. Fungal infections of the skin are often called ringworm or tinea. Fungus grows very rapidly in moist, dark places with little ventilation as such microscopic fungi, called dermatophytes, thrive on dead tissue such as the outer layer of the skin and nails.

 A fungal infection occurs when fungi multiply and cause inflammation.

The most common types of fungal infections of the skin and nails are:

  • Tinea capitis - occurs on the neck and scalp
  • Tinea corporis - occurs on various parts of the body, such as the arms, shoulders and face
  • Tinea cruris - also known as jock itch, involves the groin area
  • Tinea pedis - also known as athlete's foot
  • Tinea unguium - also known as onychomycosis occurs on the nails
  • Tinea versicolor - occurs most often on the chest and back causing lighter colored, scaly patches


Superficial fungal infections are usually treated with over the counter or prescription antifungal creams or sprays. If the infection persists, an oral antifungal drug may be prescribed.

Systemic fungal infections are treated with oral antifungal medications.

Although fungal infections are usually not serious in healthy individuals, it is important to seek treatment because sometimes the infection can spread and complications such as secondary bacterial infections develop.


Most infections improve with treatment within several weeks. It is important to note, however, that many fungal infections do not respond to treatment. It can take prolonged periods and many treatment methods before there is any response.


Several important steps can be taken to prevent fungal infections. Practice good personal hygiene, skin should be kept clean and dry. Avoid artificial fingernails. Household sources of fungus such as showers, bathtubs, and floors should be maintained by cleaning regularly with warm water and a disinfectant.

If a member of the household has a superficial infection, be sure to keep sheets, towels and clothing separate and clean.


Certified Dermatology, PC

853 2nd Street Pike
The Brownstone Building,
Ground Level, Rear, Suite A1 (Tuyen Nguyen PA-C & Megan Melvin, NP)
First floor, Up ramp at top of driveway, Suite A106 (Adam Woldow - MD, Michelle Prieto, - NP and Jessica Garcia - Aesthetician)
Richboro, PA 18954

(215) 485-5713

(215) 485-5419

Office Hours by Appointment
Mon: 7AM - 6PM
Tue: 9AM - 6PM
Wed: 9AM - 6PM
Thurs: 7AM - 6PM
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday - No routine scheduled patient hours

Search site

© 2014 All rights reserved.

Powered by Webnode