Mycoses or mycosis is a fungal infection that can attack the surface and layers of the skin to the internal organs of the human body. Mycosis generally affects people with a weakened immune system .

There are various types of fungi that can cause infection in humans. Of all the types of fungus, there are several types of fungus that can attack more than one different part of the body.

Most cases of mycoses result from exposure to a fungal source, such as airborne molds, soil, or molds contained in animal feces. Some types of mycoses or fungal infections can also be transmitted between humans.

Types and Causes of Mycosis

Mycoses are caused by different types of fungi. The following are the causes of mycoses based on their type:

External mycosis

Some types of fungi that cause this type of mycosis include:

  • Malassezia furfur , the cause of pityriasis versicolor or panu
  • Trichophyton or Microsporum , causes tinea or ringworm
  • Candida , the cause of candidiasis

There are several factors that can increase the risk of external mycoses, namely:

  • Live in a humid environment
  • Excessive sweating ( hyperhidrosis )
  • Often wears tight clothing
  • Have a weak immune system

Internal mycosis

Internal mycosis can occur in people who do not have a suppressed immune system. Usually, this mycosis occurs when the body is exposed to a large number of fungi, for example due to living in an area with many fungal infections.

The way the fungus enters the body varies, but usually enters through the respiratory system. Several types of fungi that can cause primary mycoses are C occidioides immitis , Histoplasma capsulatum , B lastomyces dermatitidis , and P aracoccidioides brasiliensis .

In someone who has a decreased immune system, fungal infections usually attack the lungs. Internal mycoses that attack people with weak immune systems are called opportunistic mycoses.

Some conditions that can cause a decrease in the immune system are:

  • Suffering from HIV/AIDS
  • Have diabetes
  • Just received a donor organ
  • Currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment
  • Taking immunosuppressant drugs for autoimmune diseases

Apart from the lungs, fungi can enter the body through the mouth or medical devices that stick to the body when treated in hospital. Types of fungal infections that fall into this category are aspergillosis , candidiasis, hyalohyphomycosis , phaeohyphomycosis , cryptococcosis , and zygomycosis.

Mycosis Symptoms

The symptoms of mycoses depend on the type of fungus and the part of the body that is infected. The following are symptoms of mycosis:

Outer mycosis _

External mycosis or superficial mycosis is a fungal infection of the skin (dermatomycosis) and mucous membranes (cutaneous mycosis), for example, in the mouth. Here are some symptoms of external mycosis based on the type of fungus and the disease:

  • Panu
    Pityriasis versicolor or tinea versicolor is a fungal infection that attacks the surface of the skin. Symptoms that appear are patches of light (hypopigmentation), dark (hyperpigmentation), or redness of the skin. The parts of the body that are often attacked by tinea versicolor are the neck, shoulders, back, stomach and chest.
  • Ringworm
    Ringworm or tinea is a fungal infection of the skin that can attack almost all parts of the body. Symptoms include a red rash that is circular in shape like a ring. The ringworm rash is itchy and if it gets on the scalp it can cause hair loss .
  • Candidiasis
    Candidiasis can occur in the mouth, esophagus, intestines, and vagina. Symptoms vary, depending on the location. For example, candidiasis in the mouth can cause symptoms of white spots in the mouth and chapped lips.
  • Otomycosis
    Otomycosis is a fungal infection in the ear canal. Symptoms that appear include ear pain, hearing loss, and white or gray discharge from the ear.

Organ mycoses in nature

Internal mycosis or deep mycosis is a fungal infection that attacks the internal organs, such as the lungs, so it can spread into the bloodstream.

Symptoms of internal organ mycoses depend on the organs affected. For example, pulmonary mycosis can cause symptoms of cough , fever, weight loss, chest pain , and shortness of breath.

Internal mycosis usually occurs in people with compromised immune systems so it can be serious and fatal.

When to see a doctor    

In most cases, superficial mycosis does not require a visit to the doctor because it can be cured with over-the-counter antifungal creams, such as miconazole . Examination and treatment by a doctor is needed if the disease does not go away even after using antifungal cream.

Some cases of mycoses of internal organs are serious conditions. If left untreated, this condition can cause permanent organ damage to death. Immediately see a doctor if you experience symptoms of mycoses in the internal organs, especially if you have a weak immune system, for example due to suffering from HIV/AIDS or diabetes.

Mycosis diagnosis

The type of examination that doctors perform to diagnose mycosis is differentiated based on the location of the infection that occurs. Here's the explanation:

External mycosis

In external mycoses, the examination begins with asking about the symptoms that appear and carrying out a physical examination. In many cases, fungal infections of the skin cause characteristic symptoms and can be diagnosed without the need for additional investigations.

However, if atypical symptoms appear, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations in the form of skin scraping or deeper skin tissue sampling ( skin biopsy ) for examination in the laboratory.

Internal mycosis

The symptoms of mycosis of the internal organs are sometimes atypical, so it is necessary to do a laboratory examination of the fungus to determine the type of fungus and the infection, and to find out the treatment needed.

The examination will take samples of body fluids, such as blood, urine, sputum, and cerebrospinal fluid, or tissue samples of affected organs.

In certain cases, such as fungal infections in the sinuses or lungs, the doctor can scan with X- rays to determine the location of the fungal infection and assess the level of tissue damage.

Mycosis Treatment

Mycosis can be treated with antifungal drugs , the types of drugs can vary, depending on the type of mycosis.

Most external mycoses are adequately treated with topical antifungal medications in the form of creams, lotions, powders, liquids, sprays, or drop solutions. However, there are several types of mycoses that also require oral antifungal drugs.

As for internal organ mycosis, the treatment used is in the form of antifungal drugs that are taken orally or injected.

If needed, surgery can also be performed to remove tissue damaged by a fungal infection. Meanwhile, the provision of medication and other treatments can be considered according to the patient's condition.

Mycosis Complications

Mycoses can cause different complications, depending on their type and location. Internal organ mycosis can spread to the bloodstream and get worse over time. If left untreated, this fungal infection can cause multiple organ failure.

Mycosis Prevention

To prevent fungal infections, the most appropriate way is to ensure that the body and living environment are free from fungal growth.

Mushrooms like to grow in moist environments and body parts. Therefore, the following steps can prevent mycosis due to a damp body, including:

  • Avoid wearing tight clothes.
  • Do not reuse clothing, including underwear.
  • Replace clothes that are wet from sweat with dry clothes.
  • Always wear dry and clean socks.
  • Make sure the cleanliness of shoes is always maintained by washing them regularly.

As described above, several types of mycosis can be transmitted. Therefore, do not share personal items, such as towels and combs, with other people.

Regular check-ups to the doctor can also be one of the right preventive measures for people who have a low immune system to avoid mycosis.

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