Types of Fungal Infections

Dermatophyte infections

Most basic fungal skin infections are caused by dermatophytes – a type of fungi that cause skin, nail and hair infections. They are common, affecting between 10 and 20% of people at some point in their life. They include:

Athlete’s foot ( Tinea pedis )

This is a very common infection that occurs in one in five adults. It’s often caused by a combination of fungi and bacteria. It causes scaling and sogginess of the skin, commonly of the web spaces between the toes. Sometimes the skin becomes pale and can be itchy. The infection is often picked up from contaminated skin fragments in public places, such as swimming pools and shower facilities.

Ringworm of the groin ( Tinea cruris )

This is called "jock itch" because it occurs in athletes. It causes an itchy, red rash in the groin and surrounding area and is commonly seen in those who have been sweating a lot.

Ringworm on the body ( Tinea corporis )

This affects the body, often in exposed areas like the abdomen or on limbs, causing red patches. They are scaly at the edge with clear skin at the center.The patches spread out from the center. It may also be caught from domestic animals.

Ringworm of the scalp ( Tinea capitis )

This tends to affect young children and can cause hair loss with inflammation in the affected area. It is usually spread from person to person. Most people infected by this fungus don’t actually develop the symptoms, but become carriers who can spread the infection to others, sometimes for years.

Nail infections

Onychomycosis is the name for any fungal nail infection.

Ringworm of the Nails ( Tinea unguium )

This is a common infection. The nails become malformed, thickened and crumbly. Not all nails affected like this are caused by fungal infections, but it is a common cause. Toenail infections are commonly linked with athlete’s foot. Fingernails can be affected too.

Yeast infections

Other fungal skin infections are caused by yeast infections. For example:


Intertrigo is a term used to describe a rash caused by skin rubbing against skin. Intertrigo can be complicated by a yeast infection of skin folds caused by Candida albicans. It affects areas of the body that have skin touching skin such as the armpits, groin, and under breasts or skin folds, where the environment is warm and moist.

Pityriasis versicolor ( Tinea Versicolor )

This yeast infection causes increased dark patches on pale or untanned skin and light patches on tanned or darker skin. Another name for this condition is Tinea Versicolor (versicolor means "of various colors").