Different types of fungus live naturally in the body. At times, this fungus can overtake the body's natural bacteria in the colon, digestive tract and even on the skin. This can cause irritation internally and externally in the form of fungus infections, of which many types exist. Some are more severe and painful than others.
Causes of Fungus Infections
Fungus infections in the colon and digestive tract can be caused by an overuse of antibiotics, birth control pills and corticosteroids. They also can be caused by chronic stress, poor diet, food allergies and even chlorinated water. External fungus infections can be caused from wearing tight and wet or sweaty clothing too long. Dirty underwear or diapers also cause fungus infections. A fungus called candida albicans lives naturally in the body and on the skin. An internal candida infection can spur many external fungus infections, especially the ones that keep recurring.
Effects From Candida Albicans
When candida albicans starts growing in the colon, the mucous linings of the large intestines become inflamed. Fecal impactions then form along the walls of the colon and block vital nutrients. As the body's natural bacteria fight the fungus or yeast, it emits toxins as it dies. An erosion of the colon's bacteria, as it fights the yeast, provides a suitable environment for certain parasites. Over time, the excess fungus, toxins and parasites can enter the bloodstream and settle in cells and body tissues. This can lead to many diseases, including fungus infections.
Types of Fungus Infections
The internal fungus infections are called candidiasis. Common external yeast infections include penile and vaginal yeast infections, mouth thrush, athlete's foot, ringworm and jock itch. People of any age can get these infections. Mouth thrush occurs on the tongue and inside cheeks of the mouth. It can also spread to the throat and esophagus. Ringworm can appear in similar areas as jock itch (inside thighs and groin area) but also can spread to the fingernails and scalp. There are also fungi that affect the toenails.
Candidiasis, Mouth Thrush And Ringworm Symptoms
Internal candidiasis can cause gastritis, headaches and even diarrhea. Penile and vaginal yeast infections cause severe itching and sometimes pain. Often, vaginal yeast infections cause a cottage-cheese looking substance to appear. Both genital infections can have a starchy odor. Mouth thrush usually appears as elevated white, yellow or cream-colored spots on the tongue. These do not always hurt, but they usually bleed if they are rubbed or scratched. Ringworm usually starts out as a reddish, scaly spot or bump. The sores can fester and become pus-filled as well. Ringworm on the scalp starts out like a small pimple. It eventually becomes scaly and flaky. Fingernails or toenails affected by ringworm or other fungi are usually thickened, yellowish and brittle.
Athlete's Foot and Jock Itch Symptoms
Itching and burning are normal signs of athlete's foot. It usually appears as patches of red and scaly skin on and between the toes. It can also affect the top and bottom of the foot. Jock itch appears as itchy, red, raised plaques with sharp borders. Tiny pimples or pustules may dot the borders. The center areas are usually red and scaly and can peel. The spots tend to be redder if the jock itch condition is spurred by an internal overgrowth of the candida albicans fungus.