Mycoses: An Introduction

Mycoses are a wide variety of fungal infections affecting humans, animals, and even plants. They can range from mild, localized skin infections to serious, even life-threatening forms of systemic or deep-seated mycosis. Some of the most common types of fungal infections include:

  • Aspergillosis
  • Candidiasis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Blastomycosis

Fungal infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of one of the many types of fungi normally found on the skin or in the body. Factors that can contribute to the development of mycoses include weakened immune system, antibiotic or steroid use, exposure to animals or bird droppings, and poor hygiene. Most mycoses can be treated with antifungal drugs, but some forms are more difficult to treat.

The most common symptom of a mycosis is an area of red, itchy, scaly skin. Depending on the type and location of the infection, other symptoms can include nail and hair changes, swelling, or fever. It is important to note that mycoses can be contagious, so proper hygiene and preventative measures should be taken if possible.

If you experience any signs or symptoms of a fungal infection, it is important to seek medical attention. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and take a sample of the infected area to examine under a microscope. Treatment will depend on the type of infection and its severity. Typical treatment may include topical antifungal medications, oral antifungal medications, or a combination of both.