What is a fungal infection of the skin?

Published at 21.09.2018 06:17
Fungal disorder of the skin and nails belong to the group of human infectious diseases which are caused by pathogenic fungi. Mycotic infections can be of different nature, but the most common clinical manifestations are skin lesions (mycosis) and nails (onychomycosis). This is a contagious disease which is transmitted from person to person. The main pathogens of mycotic infections of the derma and nails are dermatophytes (red trichophyton, interdigital trichophyton, yeast-like fungi, mycelial fungus and fungal-bacterial flora).

Contamination often occurs from a family member suffering from foot or nail fungus diseases. Fungus is transmitted through household items: towels, bath puffs, nail grooming accessories, footwear. Also sources of contamination can be public places (saunas, swimming pools, public shower, gyms). People suffering from endocrine diseases such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, cancer, as well as people with immune disorders (prolonged antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants) are most often susceptible to a disease. Factor contributing to the development of mycotic diseases are obesity, advanced age, disturbances of peripheral blood flow in vascular diseases, disorders of innervation of the extremities, after stroke, in chronic alcoholism and at polyneuropathy. It is very common to find fungal nail damages in persons suffering from such chronic epidermis diseases as Psoriasis, eczema, neurodermatitis.

Parasites causing diseases of the derma and nails have special enzymes which destroy the proteins of keratin from which the horny layer of skin, hair and nails is built. Also, fungi have enzymes that destroy other human proteins, for example, collagen and elastin, so the fungi get their own food; destroy the surrounding tissues, creating food for further growth. Nail affected by the disease develop cavities and slits in the exfoliated nail plate and in the horny layers, passing through the entire nail. These cavities contain colonies of fungi that are protected against antifungal agents.

Fungi are very die-hard and can survive for months in the skin scales. Initially, the cells of the fungus get on the derma, there they grow and spread, then under favorable conditions they penetrate into a nail plate. Over time, the fungus affects all parts of the nail and goes into other nails or epidermis. Nail fungus is the source of contamination for other parts of the body. Even if you constantly treat all pockets of infection on the skin, still there is a risk of reinfection in the nails.

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