What is fungal infection?
Fungal infections can affect anyone, and they can appear on several parts of the body. A jock with athlete’s foot, a baby with thrush, and a woman with a vaginal yeast infection are just a few examples.
Fungi are microorganisms characterized by a substance in their cell walls called chitin. Some fungi, like many types of mushrooms, are edible. Other types of fungi, like aspergillus, can be extremely dangerous and lead to life-threatening diseases.
Different types of fungi can cause fungal infections. In some cases, fungi that aren’t typically found on or inside your body can colonize it and cause an infection. In other cases, fungi that are normally present on or inside your body can multiply out of control and cause an infection.
Fungal infections can be contagious. They can spread from one person to another. In some cases, you can also catch disease-causing fungi from infected animals or contaminated soil or surfaces.
If you develop signs or symptoms of a fungal infection, make an appointment with your doctor.
A fungal infection is also known as mycosis. Although most fungi are harmless to humans, some of them are capable of causing diseases under specific conditions.
Fungi reproduce by releasing spores that can be picked up by direct contact or even inhaled. That’s why fungal infections are most likely to affect your skin, nails, or lungs. Fungi can also penetrate your skin, affect your organs, and cause a body-wide systemic infection.
Some common types of fungal infection include:
- athlete’s foot
- jock itch
- yeast infection
- onychomycosis, or a fungal infection of the nail
Some types of fungi don’t normally cause infections in humans but can cause sickness in people with weakened immune systems. These are called opportunistic infections.
Athlete’s foot can cause an itching, stinging, or burning sensation between your toes or on other parts of your foot. Your skin might also crack, peel, or blister.
Your doctor may recognize athlete’s foot by looking at the symptoms on your skin. If the doctor isn’t sure, a small area of the skin can be scraped off and tested for the fungus.
There are several topical over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal medications you can use to treat athlete’s foot. If those don’t provide relief, your doctor can prescribe something stronger.
What are the symptoms of a bacterial infection?
can sometimes enter the body. Once inside, they may multiply and cause an infection. The symptoms that occur will often depend on the location of the infection in the body.
This article will outline some of the signs and symptoms of bacterial infections according to where they occur in the body. It will also provide information on treating and preventing bacterial infections and offer advice on when to see a doctor.
General symptoms of a bacterial infection The signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection typically depend on where in the body the infection occurs.
However, some of the most common general signs and symptoms of infection include:
- chills and sweats
- swollen lymph nodes
- new or sudden worsening of pain
- unexplained exhaustion
- skin flushing, swelling, or soreness
- gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:
- abdominal or rectal pain
Symptoms by body part
Bacterial infections can develop anywhere in the body, but they often occur near sites where bacteria can enter the body.
The sections below will outline some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with bacterial infections in different parts of the body.
Although different species of bacteria cause slightly different symptoms, most tend to cause several of the following:
- pain and tenderness in the stomach
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- frequent bowel movements
- diarrhea that can be loose, watery, or bloody
- feeling the need to go to the bathroom even when the bowel is empty
- inflammation of the colon
Upper respiratory tract infections
The upper respiratory tract includes the nasal passages and the sinuses. The sinuses are a network of hollow cavities inside the skull.
Sometimes, the sinuses can become infected with bacteria or viruses. The medical term for infection and inflammation of the sinuses is sinusitis.
Common signs and symptoms of sinusitis include:
- a runny or stuffy nose
- postnasal drip, wherein mucus constantly drips down the back of the throat
- facial pain or pressure
- a sore throat
- a cough
- bad breath
Lower respiratory tract infections
The lower respiratory tract consists of the following body parts:
- the trachea, or windpipe
- the bronchi, which are airways that lead from the trachea to the lungs
- the lungs
One of the most common bacterial lung infections is bacterial pneumonia. Some potential signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:
- a cough that may produce green, yellow, or bloody mucus
- rapid, shallow breathing
- sharp or stabbing chest pain that worsens when breathing deeply or coughing
- shortness of breath
- unexplained exhaustion and low energy
- nausea and vomiting, particularly in young children
- confusion, particularly in older adults