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A Closer Look at the Types of Fungal Skin Infections

Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jun 16, 2023

A Closer Look at the Types of Fungal Skin Infections

There are many different reasons as to why you are suffering from that itchy feeling right now. If you have experienced the most common ones such as the athlete’s foot or ringworm, then you may blame the fungi around your place for it. Because the naked eye cannot visibly see most fungi, you might be unaware of how it affects you. Read on to get to know the different kinds of fungal skin infections.

What Are Fungal Skin Infections?

As the name implies, these kinds of skin infections are due to microorganisms regarded as fungi that can be found in the air, water, and even inside people’s bodies. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) shared that there are over 1.5 million different species identified to be roaming around the Earth. Approximately 50% of all fungi are considered toxic and that 300 of which can actually cause people to feel sick. These might occur if one of the dangerous fungi settles on the skin. Because of this, there is a high possibility of having skin rashes that tends to be itchy as it progresses. 

In general, fungal skin infections may appear bright red and spread throughout a huge part of the skin. They can develop on any part of the body, in the groin, buttocks, thighs, or nails, that may also include the following characteristics:

  • Color seems brighter at the border
  • Scales are excessive at the border
  • Smaller and more distinct lesions at the edges of the rash

Types of Fungal Skin Infections

Below is a list of different fungal skin infections that may occur to you or to any of your friends or family member. 

The most common ones are first discussed. 


It is a typical skin infection that can affect anyone with circular rashes that usually present as something red and itchy. This infection’s fungi can dwell on the skin, surfaces, and other household goods such as clothing, towels, and beds.

There are a variety of names for ringworms, depending on the fungus that causes the infection and its placement. It is sometimes referred to as “tinea” for the particular fungi that come in contact (i.e., Tinea corporis, Tinea capitis, or Tinea cruris). Dermatophytosis is another medical term for it. 

The athlete’s foot falls under this bigger umbrella of fungal infection.

Athlete’s Foot

This is the most common type of them all that is caused by the fungus known as Tinea pedis. People who are used to walking barefoot are prone to this infection. It starts as a flake between the toes that turn white. This easily spreads at the soles of the feet. 

Nail Fungus/Infections 

This condition is somewhat similar to the former type (athlete’s foot).  A person’s fingernails and toenails may look yellow and thick, which are fragile and prone to cracking.

Onychomycosis is a more technical term for this fungal skin infection.

Scalp Ringworm

Tinea capitis is the fungus responsible for this extremely contagious infection.  It mostly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10 with itchy and scaly scalps with rashes that may result in hair thinning. 

Body Ringworm

This skin infection manifests as ring-like that rashes that can be seen on the torso or face. It affects people of all ages, but it is more prevalent in children. Those who are living in hotter climates may also show symptoms, such as itching in the affected area.

Jock Itch

Males are more likely to have this kind of infection that forms red, ring-like skin patches in the groin area, causing itch and pain.


Candida causes yeast infection in this particular type. This fungus lives on the surfaces of the skin and inside the body, in sites like the mouth, throat, gut, and vaginal canal.

Rashes and irritation are visible on the skin, in the vaginal area, and in the digestive system. However, it can grow out of control in some circumstances.

People who live in or travel to particular locations are susceptible to these fungal skin infections. Some of which are:

  • Blastomycosis
  • Cryptococcus gatii infection
  • Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever)
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Paracoccidiodomycosis

In addition to that, some may also weaken the immune system:

  • Aspergillosis
  • Cryptococcus neoformans infection
  • Mucormycosis
  • Talaromycosis

Key Takeaways

There are many treatments, medications, and anti-fungal creams that you can reach for to cure the fungal skin infections you are experiencing. But before doing so, it’s essential that your healthcare professional sees the itches and rashes first to offer suitable treatment options for you.

Learn more about other skin infections here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mia Dacumos, MD

Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jun 16, 2023

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