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Body Fungus and How To Avoid It

Skin fungus is so common that it has been estimated that 20% of all people have athlete's foot at any time, probably the most familiar type of body fungus. The fungus causing skin problems is actually a microscopic mould variety (dermatophytes) which lives on keratin, which is a protein found in skin, nails and hair. Warmth and moisture create an atmosphere where these fungus thrive and spread.

What are the Causes of Body Fungus?

There are several body fungus causes. It is contagious, usually spread person-to-person. Animals, clothes and fabrics can also spread skin fungus. If someone has athlete's foot, for example, it is a good idea to put on socks before wearing. Any area of the body that is warm and moist can provide a welcoming home to this irritating skin fungus.

What are the Symptoms?

The common body fungus symptoms are itching and burning rashes. There are five types of skin fungus: tinea cruris (jock itch), tinea corporis (ringworm) and tinea versicolor (white spots), candidiasis(found in the mouth or digestive tract) and tinea pedis (athlete's foot). While each type has its distinctive appearance, the rash will spread if untreated. In some instances, blisters may develop that will crack and ooze. It strikes unexpectedly and is very unpleasant.

How Can Body Fungus Be Treated?

The most common body fungus treatment is over-the-counter anti-fungal ointments or creams. At times, the fungus will be resistant to these treatments and require stronger, prescription-strength anti-fungal creams or lotions. People with severe, chronic cases may be given pills containing one of the following: fluconazole, ketoconazole or itraconazole.

How Can a Body Fungus Infection be Prevented?

Cleanliness and good hygiene is the best way to prevent a body fungal infection. After exercising, change out of gym clothes; wash them before wearing them again. Do not wear underwear more than once before washing it. This is especially important for people who sweat excessively. Cotton, loose-fitting clothing will prevent infections much better than tight-fitting shorts or pants that do not allow the skin to 'breathe'. Let shoes air out between wearings. Sneakers can be washed regularly. Wear shower shoes at the gym and it's always better to put a clean towel on the bench before sitting, especially if the bench is wet. Be scrupulous about hand-washing before and after workouts. Gym equipment should also be wiped down before and after each use.

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