Fungal infections: causes and treatment

Fungi can cause all kinds of infections, such as athlete’s foot, pityriasis or ringworm. Fungi can enter the body in many ways. Causes of fungal infections are often poor hygiene, skin that is constantly moist or minor injuries to the skin. Sharing towels, combs, brushes, etc. is not recommended due to the contagiousness of fungal infections. Drying the skin properly is also very important.

Fungal infections

Dermatophytes are fungi that live on dead tissue of hair, nails and skin. These fungi can cause the following conditions;

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Pityriasis
  • Ringworm

Fungal infections often occur under the following conditions;

  • Poor hygiene
  • Constantly moist skin
  • Minor skin injuries

Athlete’s foot

Symptoms of athlete’s foot:

  • Itchy skin
  • Burning sensation on the skin
  • Cracks of the skin

Athlete’s foot often starts between the toes, but can also be on the sides of the foot or under the sole of the foot. This then becomes thick and leathery. It can be caused by visiting the swimming pool, but the environment in your own shoes is often the culprit. The older you get, the greater the chance of developing athlete’s foot.

Prevent athlete’s foot

  • Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes
  • Don’t wear the same shoes every day
  • If your feet sweat a lot, put on clean socks twice a day
  • Wearing slippers in public places
  • Wear well-ventilated shoes
  • Maintain good hygiene

What can you do if you have athlete’s foot?

  • Apply antifungal creams or powder to the affected areas three times a day.
  • Good personal hygiene


Symptoms of Pityriasis

  • Itching, burning sensation in the groin area
  • Red rash on the inner thighs, anal area, buttocks.

Preventing pityriasis

Do not use communal towels, as this infection is slightly contagious. It can therefore also be spread through physical contact.

What should you do with Pityriasis?

Wash the groin twice a day and keep them dry with your own towel.
Do not wear irritating clothing. Shower after exercise and put on clean clothes


Ringworm is common in children.
Symptoms of ringworm are an itchy, red, scaly raised ring on the trunk, face or groin area.

Preventing ringworm

  • Avoid sharing clothing, combs, hats, etc.
  • Sometimes it is transmitted to people from pets.

What should you do if you have ringworm?

  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Wash linen separately to avoid infecting other family members
  • Keep brushes, combs, etc. clean and do not use someone else’s.

When to see the doctor?

If you develop a fever or moist, dry spots, it is wise to visit the doctor. Even if milder complaints last longer than four weeks, a visit to the doctor is recommended.