Link #18: Fungus Can Grow on People, Too!

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Link #18: Fungus Can Grow on People, Too!

Trichophyton rubrum var rodhaini
This micrograph reveals both a macroconidium and some microconidia of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum var. rodhaini. Dermatophytic organisms of the genus Trichophyton normally inhabit the soil, humans or animals, and are one of the leading causes of hair, skin and nail infections, or dermatophytosis in humans. Image credit: PD-USGov-HHS-CDC

If you read the last post on frogs, and how they breathe and drink water, then you must be astonished at how important their skin really is. However, skin is important to every animal that has it. It is one of the most important tools of evolution. In fact, skin is extremely important to us humans too.

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It is. More importantly, did you know that if you’re not careful with your skin, you may end up having fungus growing on it? You can. Fungus growth on human skin is a real and common problem that many people face. How is this possible? Read on.

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How Does Fungus Grow on Skin?

kringshoes by Shannon Kringen cc2.0

Fungus is contagious. This means that people suffering from fungal growth on their skin can transfer the same to you. It is also possible for fungal infection to be acquired through animals such as your pets.

Usually, you’re likely to contract a fungal infection if you spend a lot of time in areas which are moist and see a lot of people, such as common showers and locker rooms. These are areas where people walk barefoot. In addition, sharing towels may also lead to the spread of fungal infection.

Another aspect of fungal growth on the skin is that, while you may contract it from common warm and moist areas, it still needs the right conditions to grow. For instance, in order for a fungal infection to grow it needs a warm and moist environment, such as what you have inside your shoe.

Where Can Fungus Grow on Your Body?

Athlete's Foot
Athlete’s Foot by Wanna Be Creative cc2.0

Depending on where the fungal infection has taken root, it is called different things. For instance, the most common location for fungal infection is your foot. In such a case, it will be known as athlete’s foot. While athlete’s foot may be the most common variety of fungal skin infection, it can often spread to other parts of your body.

Fungal infection can occur in all areas of your body that are warm and moist for the better part of the day. This means that you can get fungal infection in your groin, your underarms and the spaces between your fingers and toes.

How Can You Avoid Fungal Infections Like Athlete’s Foot?

There is no rocket science to preventing fungal infections like athlete’s foot. All you need to do is make simple lifestyle changes. Since fungal infections are usually contracted in moist and warm communal areas, you can choose to wear sandals when visiting such locations. Similarly, since sharing towels can also be a problem, you can avoid it by bringing your own.

Another way you can reduce your chances of contracting fungal infections is by not giving the fungus the kind of environment that it thrives in. This means trying to keep the likely regions (like your feet and groin) dry. You can do this simply by avoiding tight-fitting clothes that restrict ventilation and encourage moisture build-up.

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