Countless microorganisms, including fungi, inhabit our skin. A weak immune system or inadequate personal hygiene can stimulate fungal growth. Infections such as athlete’s foot and vagina develop.
You will not only find mushrooms in the forest and on the mushroom shell, but microscopic mushrooms also live on the skin and in the intestines. As long as there are not too many or bad mushrooms, they do not harm our health. However, if they multiply uncontrollably, fungal infections can lead to skin problems, which in the worst case, also affect the organs.
Drugstore medicines can be useful in treating fungal skin infections. But what about natural remedies? The Australian Aborigines have been using tea tree oil to combat fungal diseases for centuries. This article will tell you more about how to prevent and fight yeast infections.
Fungal infections of the skin
In addition to bacteria, fungi can also be found all over the skin, mainly thread fungi (dermatophytes) and yeasts (candida). They are part of our immune system and protect against foreign bodies. Fungi feel particularly useful on our skin: They feed on keratin, the main component of skin, hair and nails. Our immune system controls fungi so that they do not multiply on a massive scale. Increases the number of fungi that can develop through fungal infections of the skin (dermatomycosis): They can enter the body through small wounds and, in the worst case, into affected organs (systemic mycosis).
How does a skin fungal infection develop?
Fungi prefer warm, moist areas of the body such as the groin, armpits, spaces between the toes, genitals, and areas under the breasts. This is where most of the infections come from. When the immune system is weakened, fungi can spread more quickly. Therefore, people with diabetes mellitus and HIV are particularly vulnerable. However, circulatory disorders and obesity also increase the risk of fungal infections 1.
Skin fungi can be transmitted through intensive skin contact, especially during sexual intercourse. You can also become infected by contacting an infected animal or contaminated objects such as flip flops or towels.
High blood sugar promotes fungal growth.
When blood sugar levels rise, as it does in diabetics, the immune system cannot function correctly: pathogens enter the body more efficiently and damage. High sugar levels cause the body to activate enzymes that inhibit the formation of antibodies. These antibodies are the tools with which the immune system fights pathogens and thus also fungi. This is one of the many reasons people with diabetes must always make sure their blood sugar and blood sugar are long and that the time is being set correctly.
How do you notice a yeast infection?
When the fungi multiply on the skin, the first symptoms appear after a few weeks. The skin can.
How is yeast infection diagnosed?
If you suspect a skin fungus, you should consult a dermatologist. Usually, one trained eye is enough to make the diagnosis. To precisely identify the pathogen, doctors take a smear and establish a fungal culture in the laboratory. Once the laboratory has identified the exact pathogen, specific treatment can be carried out. Doctors also use ultraviolet light to identify particular types of mushrooms.
How is a yeast infection treated?
Antifungal drugs are agents that work against fungi. Most antifungal drugs contain the active ingredients clotrimazole, miconazole and isoconazole. Broad-spectrum antifungal medicines are often available from pharmacies. These work against several types of fungus at the same time. Fungi can be treated with ointments, sprays, shampoos, powders and tablets. Healthcare professionals generally recommend using the drug a few days longer than recommended to avoid re-infestation of the fungus. For targeted therapy, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.
15 to 25 percent of all people develop an athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) at some point in their life. Athletes, people with diabetes, and people with misaligned toes are often affected. However, wearing tight-fitting shoes and sweating excessively also increases the risk of athlete’s foot.
How do you recognize an athlete’s foot?
A fungal infection of the foot usually affects the spaces between the toes. In particular, the area between the fourth finger and the little finger offers optimal growth space. When infected, the skin swells, itches, and cracks. Also, it can become whitish and there is an unpleasant odor. When the fungus spreads to the soles of the feet, they begin to climb. In rare cases, blisters form on the back of the foot.
If the fungus is left untreated, the nails usually don’t last. With nail fungus, the nails turn yellow and the nail bed thickens.
How does an athlete’s foot gets infected?
The risk of developing athlete’s foot in gyms and swimming pools is high, especially when walking barefoot on exercise mats, floors, and public showers. Wearing socks all the time also encourages fungal growth. There may also be an increased risk of allergic skin reactions or atopic dermatitis: If the skin becomes dry and cracked, the fungi can penetrate the skin more quickly. The risk of a fungal infection increases. Fungi also multiply in parts of the body with poor blood circulation. It’s best to make sure your feet are always warm.
Which remedies help against an athlete’s foot?
As with other fungal infections like skin fungus, you can turn to antifungal drugs after diagnosis. Remedies for an athlete’s foot usually contain the active ingredients clotrimazole, flutrimazole, or bifonazole. Victims should take six weeks and take the drug one to three times a day.
Which home remedies help with athlete’s foot?
Studies have shown that essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil can help treat athlete’s foot. According to a study published by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, a cream with 10% tea tree oil can relieve symptoms.13 A study from 2002 also showed that tree oil with tea could improve symptoms. – The test subjects applied tea tree oil to the affected areas twice a day for four weeks14. So far, no studies have clearly shown that tea tree oil can cure athlete’s foot.
Apple cider vinegar is also sometimes referred to as a home remedy. However, no scientific study has shown that apple cider vinegar is effective against athlete’s foot.
Three-quarters of all women have to deal with yeast infections at least once in their lifetime. Bacteria and fungi do not only live in the intestines but also the vagina: The vaginal flora prevents the spread of pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. The most common culprit of a yeast infection in the vagina is the yeast Candida albicans.
What are the symptoms of vaginal yeast?
The classic symptoms of a yeast infection are:
- heavy discharge
- Itching and redness of the skin on the outside as well as on the vagina and vulva.
- Burning sensation when urinating
If you experience these symptoms, it doesn’t always have to be a yeast infection! STDs such as chlamydia, genital warts, allergies to hygiene products, or a lack of estrogen can cause similar symptoms.
What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of yeast infections in women. Fluctuations in the estrogen balance such as pregnancy, menstruation and contraceptives also play a role. Vaginal yeast infection can also be transmitted through sex. Taking antibiotics can kill bacteria that inhibit the growth of fungi in the vaginal flora, thereby increasing the number of fungi.
As with antibiotics, showering can alter the flora of the vagina, increasing the risk of vaginal yeast infection. For intimate hygiene, use soap with a neutral pH value.
How is vaginal yeast infection treated?
After the diagnosis (doctors examine vaginal fluids), those affected are given an ointment or tablet. The average duration of treatment is two weeks. The genital area should be kept dry and the underwear should be changed daily. When shaving, be careful not to cut yourself as this can worsen the infection.
These tips can help relieve symptoms.
- Wear ventilated and breathable underwear, ideally cotton.
- Use fragrance-free toiletries. Perfumes hurt the vaginal flora and can irritate the skin.
Which home remedies are effective for vaginal thrush?
According to an article in the Swiss journal Holistic Medicine, there aren’t enough studies on the effects of tea tree oil against fungal infections. If you use tea tree oil, you need to dilute it with water. Concentrated tea tree oil can irritate the skin.
Researchers are discussing whether oregano and coconut oils are a treatment option, as both oils have been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans in laboratory experiments. In general, researchers attribute antifungal properties to essential oils and coconut oil. However, more studies are needed to determine whether the oils will be helpful in practice.
Skin fungus: at a glance
How do you get sick with a fungal skin infection?
A weakened immune system, poor blood circulation, and being overweight can increase the risk of developing skin fungus. Direct contact with contaminated objects and surfaces can lead to infections. Hormonal fluctuations are a common cause of vaginal yeast infections.
What are the symptoms of fungal skin infections?
The skin’s possible symptoms in the affected areas are itching, sagging, redness, and peeling.
How are skin fungal infections treated?
Antifungal drugs, drugs with fungicidal agents such as clotrimazole, are used in the form of tablets, ointments, or powders for several weeks. Once diagnosed, dermatologists can prescribe particular drugs that target specific fungi.
Which natural remedies help with skin fungus?
Tea tree oil can alleviate the discomfort. It is useful to change your clothes every day and wash at 60 degrees. Besides, those affected should wear breathable clothing and prefer cotton underwear.
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