What Is A Mycosis? Causes, Symptoms And Treatments.

A mycosis is any bodily infection by parasitic fungus. Cures include numerous antifungal medications.

Unknown, or perhaps merely unconsidered to some, bacteria and viruses have no monopoly on human infection. In fact, fungal infection of both the dermal layer and those below is quite common, with varying severity depending upon the type of fungus and the immune strength of the host individual; any such infection is called a mycosis. Fungi of numerous varieties find their way to human skin, most commonly in the form of the three Tinea infections, athlete's foot (Tinea pedis), jock itch (Tinea curis), or toenail ringworm (Tinea unguium), affecting those parts of the body that are kept enclosed and moist (perhaps excessively so, from a biological perspective), and thus are prime sites for fungal growth.

True, fungi are excellent decomposers of the dead--leaves, trees, and people alike. However, some varieties are quite capable of feeding upon the resources offered by still-living sources, such as ourselves. Don't imagine, however, that fungi are really ideal for the job; the presence of a fungal infection is usually an indication of poor health or abnormal conditions of moisture in a way that the presence of a minor bacterial infection is not. A fungal infection like so-called athlete's foot is a general statement that you're probably doing something wrong in your clothing of that part of the body by creating excess moisture (with possible exceptions for those who are simply irredeemably sweaty). Try a lighter grade of sock, or a more breathable choice of footwear, if you are tired of spreading gunk between your toes.

Vaginal Candidiasis (yeast infection) is usually an exception to this rule, as it's something few women are lucky enough to avoid in their lifetime, especially if prescribed bacterial antibiotics for a sustained period of time. Thrush, another variety of Candidiasis, can sometimes be found in the mouth without indicating some greater negligence.



Deep mycoses are those that penetrate the skin, and are generally much more serious than dermal infections, having the potential to be quite deadly if choosing to afflict a major organ. They can also result in gangrene, if they deprive a tissue of necessary circulation. These infections usually occur only in the severely immunodeficient, including AIDS patients.

Mycoses in general may be treated with any one of numerous fungal antibiotics, or antifungals. One of the most common is fluconazole, or Diflucan, which is the basis of many over-the-counter antifungal treatments. A more potent antifungal is amphotericin B (the A form being toxic), which is usually administered intravenously to treat systemic fungal infections. It is highly potent, and is often reserved for infections resistant to other forms of treatment. This version, too, is toxic, and so is used to treat only the most severe infections. Consult a physician if concerned about any fungal infection that you think may be potentially serious; for less serious infections, try over-the-counter antifungals, such as those suggested to treat athlete's foot and vaginal yeast infection (medicine for either may actually be used against most topical fungal infections--just be sure not to buy the suppositories to treat infections other than vaginal yeast, as you'll have a lovely time trying to cure jock itch with those).

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