An antifungal destroys or inhibits fungus growth. Anti-fungal drugs are designed to have an affect on the fungus cell wall or reproduction. Fungicides are chemical substances designed to do the same.
Fungus feeds on human tissue. And dermatophytes, a type of fungus, particularly likes keratin. Keratin is tissue found in your nails, hair and skin. This is why fungal infections tend to thrive on these body parts.
Topical antifungal drugs, like gels, sprays, powders, ointments and creams, are used to treat various type of fungal skin infections, such as:
- jock itch
- diaper rash
- athlete’s foot
- tinea versicolor
- seborrheic dermatitis
- oral candidiasis, aka thrush
There are numerous topical anti-fungal drugs available OTC. Antifungals are also available in prescription strength when OTC antifungal fails to rid you of your fungus skin problem. And corticosteroids may be included when your skin is seriously inflamed and your lesions will potentially leave scars.
Sometimes, an oral anti-fungal drug may be necessary if your fungal skin infection is severe or you have an invasive fungal infection, like fungal meningitis, aspergillosis, histoplasmosis and fungal sinusitis. Those with a weakened immune system tend to be more vulnerable to this type of fungal infection, for instance if you:
However, oral antifungal treatment may cause serious drug side effects, i.e. liver damage, albeit rarely. Allergic reactions, even anaphylaxis, due to a drug allergy or dangerous drug interactions are other concerns as well.
Here’s a couple natural antifungals you might try in your effort to clear up a fungal skin infection:
- orange oil
- tea tree oil
- coconut oil
- citronella oil
- lemon myrtle
- Lugols iodine
- palmarosa oil
- allicin from crushing garlic
Increasing zinc and selenium in your diet may help too because they have natural antifungal properties.
Since moist, dark skin areas is where fungus prefers to grow, be vigilant at keeping them dry.