Fungus On Skin Infections Explained

Fungus infections of the skin rarely develop on parts of the body that are exposed to moving air and sunlight, such as your forearm or calf. This is because fungi thrive in warm, dark, moist and airless conditions and take hold in more protected areas such as between the toes, under the nails, in hair follicles, under the diaper area in babies, in skin folds and the genital area.

The terminology around fungus on skin infections can get confusing: For example a toe fungus infection where the skin between the toes is affected is also referred to by the colloquial term “athlete’s foot” and in the medical profession as “tinea pedis”. Furthermore as yeasts are botanically related to fungi, a fungal skin infection is often referred to as a yeast skin infection. In the table below we try to add some clarity. You’ll notice that the term “tinea” with a Latin descriptor is used to describe a number of fungal skin infections.

Location of skin fungus Terminology Skin fungus treatment
Under the diaper area in babies Diaper rash, Tinea corporis or Tinea cruris Learn more about diaper rash remedies.
Fungus on skin between the toes Athlete’s foot, Toe fungus or Tinea pedis See more on toe fungus treatment. One of the popular products used for treatment is Lotrimin cream. Tineacide and Fungicure are recommended if the area around the nail is also involved.
Fingernails and toenails Nail fungus, Onychomycosis or Tinea unguium See more on nail fungus treatment. Two popular topical treatments are Zetaclear and Funginix.
Genital area Tinea cruris, Jock itch or Ringworm Learn more about ringworm cure options. Lotrimin cream is one of the most popular.
Scalp and the roots of the hair Ringworm (of the scalp) or Tinea captis Learn more about ringworm cure options.
Skin fungus on the chest and back Tinea versicolor Normally controlled by antifungal medications as well as anti-dandruff products.  See more on Selsun Blue for skin fungus.


Skin fungus treatment

Fungus on skin infections are typically associated with redness and irritation. Some like jock itch and athlete’s foot can be unbearably itchy. Ringworm of the scalp and tinea versicolor, on the other hand, tend to be less itchy. Most skin fungal infections respond well to over the counter topical antifungal creams, but secondary infections can develop from broken or damaged skin often as a result of scratching. Nail fungus infections, ringworm of the scalp and tinea versicolor are more serious conditions, harder to treat and specialized antifungal treatments are typically needed.

In all cases it makes sense to seek medical advice and receive a definite diagnosis before starting treatment. Bear in mind that while fungal skin infections have characteristic symptoms, they can still be confused with other skin conditions.

2 Responses to “Fungus On Skin Infections Explained”

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  1. My EENT treated an -ahem- ear fungus I had with an antifungal cream that was supposed to be for athlete’s foot, clearly not a standard use for it. It worked wonderfully well.

  2. Mary Glen says:

    Susan, glad to hear that it worked!

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