Question 1. Where is the fungal infection located?
Yes. The fungus, if located on toes, groin, or under breasts with a small amount of inflammation and irritation, is probably a minor fungal infection. More
No. The fungal infection has deeper penetration of the skin and is found elsewhere on the body. This may indicate a more severe fungal infection. Other types of fungal infections include: nails, scalp, and beard.
Question 2. Does the fungal infection itch?
Yes. The fungus, if limited to commonly affected areas of the body: toes, groin, and under breasts, is probably a minor fungal infection. However, more moderate forms of fungal infections may also be found in these locations. More
No. If the skin does not itch it may NOT be a fungal infection. Virus and bacterial infections, dermatitis, and other medical conditions can produce similar symptoms.
Question 3. Is the fungal infection swollen or inflamed?
Yes. Inflammation can accompany fungal infections. This is usually not a symptom of mild fungal infection. Mild symptoms include: itchy red, raised, scaly patches that blister and ooze. More
No. The fungal infection may be more severe if inflammation is not mild or limited to the lesion. Slightly raised patches with blisters, cracking and oozing are common.
Question 4. Is the fungal infection blistering or oozing?
Yes. The fungus has sharply-defined edged patches with blisters. This probably indicates a fungal infection exists. Oozing is also common to fungal infections. However, other skin conditions can produce similar symptoms like contact dermatitis (poison ivy or oak). Generally, dermatitis conditions do not produce well-defined sharp edged patches or lesions. More Information
No. Mild fungal infections may not blister or ooze. As fungus spreads and increases in severity, blisters and oozing may become more prevalent.
Question 5. Is the fungal infection scaling (flaking)?
Yes. Scaling is a common symptom of fungal infections. Skin patches are typically dry, white or red and flaky. Scaling may indicate a fungal infection. However, other skin conditions may also produce flaky skin like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. A definitive diagnosis is required to determine if a fungal infection exists (see: Fungal Diagnosis). More
No. There is no evidence of scaling or flaky skin patches. This may not be a fungal infection.
Question 6. Does the fungal infection appear infected?
Yes. Skin infections may appear red, are painful to the touch, ooze, smell, are not healing, or has red streaks radiating away from broken skin see a physician immediately. More
No. The fungal infection is probably not infected. Always monitor the skin for signs of infection. If the fungal infection improves with treatment it is probably not infected.
Question 7. Do you feel sick? (nauseous, headache, weak, fever, ache, stiff neck, short of breath, body ache)
Yes. See a physician immediately. More Information
No. It is probably not a major illness associated with infection. If in doubt See a physician immediately.
A definitive diagnosis is possible when the site of infection is confirmed by direct microscopic examination of scales dissolved in a solution of potassium hydroxide or by laboratory culture, detecting the pathogenic fungus in scrapings from lesions.
Common Types of Fungal Infections
Ringworm Fungus (Dermatophyte Infections)
Fungi that invade ONLY "dead tissues" of the skin or body (body, nails, hair). Fungal infections produce mild to moderate inflammation and immune reaction. The fungus may persist long-term reappearing and become irritated with new lesions and scaling. In some cases risk of infection may exists, causing sudden symptom eruption on the feet or scalp. Moderate eruptions can trigger a stronger immune response to the fungal infection.
Ringworm Fungus on the Body (Tinea Corporis)
The fungus appears pick to red housed in patches with raised borders and a clear center. Mild cases may be treated with topical anti-fungal products. Severe systemic cases may require oral medication.
Ringworm Fungus on the Feet - Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)
The fungus typically appears between the toes first and may more or migrate to the arch. Fungus between toes may have an uneven border with scaling present. More moderate flare-ups may cause increased redness, and irritation. If fungal infection spreads, the soles of the feet may become infected causing skin thickening. Severe cases can cause pain, itching, inflammation and redness. Toe nails may become infected causing a change in color, thickness and surface smoothness. Mild cases may be treated with topical anti-fungal products. Severe systemic cases may require oral medication.
Ringworm Fungus on the Nails (Tinea Unguium)
Fungal infections of the fingernails is generally less common than toenails. Toenails are usually well incubated by moist warm air in shoes. Infected nails typically appear thicker, loose clarity and collect increased amounts of debris under edges. Nails may become separated from the skin, destroying the nail bed eventually. Medication is usually required along with a long-term treatment plan by a physician.
Ringworm Fungus on the Scalp (Tinea Capitis)
Fungal infections of the scalp may affect both adults and children. Early detection and diagnosis is sometimes difficult as signs of fungal infection may not be demonstrative. Low-grade and persistent fungal infections are common. Infected areas of the scalp are frequently defused and may resemble dermatitis. The fungus is contagious and may become wide-spread. Inflammatory infections can occur. Topical medicated creams or shampoos are usually applied.
Jock Itch Fungual Infection (Tinea Cruris)
Jock Itch appears to be more common in males. The fungus is typically found around the groin, and inner thigh. Surrounding areas may become infected. Complication may occur from secondary bacterial or candidal infections. Recurring flare-ups are common requiring long-term treatment. Tight clothing and warm conditions contribute to flare-ups. Fungal infections are typically treated with medicated creams or lotions for 3 to 6 weeks.
Ringworm Fungus on the Face (Tinea Barbae)
Fungal infection of the beard are rare and are generally more commonly associated with bacterial infections. This type of fungal infection may be more commonly associated with agricultural workers. Steroids and other medicines are commonly used for treatment.
Yeast Fungus (Candidiasis Moniliasis)
Yeast infections of the skin usually occur on moist protected areas of the body like mucous membranes. Candidiasis infections are usually limited to the skin and mucous membranes. Although less common, a infection may be systemic and cause life-threatening lesions. Moist, warm and covered areas of the body like groins provide a fertile environment for growth. Superficial Candidiasis may be treated topically, Systemic Candidiasis is typically treated with oral medication.