Types of Fungal Infections

Fungi (singular is fungus) are primitive organisms that live in and on air, water, soil, and other surfaces. Some types of fungus reproduce by sending tiny spores through the air. When these spores land on and grow on the body, they can cause fungal infections. People who have a weakened immune system and those who are taking certain medicines (e.g., antibiotics, corticosteroids) are at increased risk for fungal skin infections.

Fungal infections often are difficult to treat. Treatment often involves topical (applied to the skin or nail) or oral (swallowed) medications called antifungals. The type of antifungal used depends on the specific type of fungus (e.g., tinea, candida [yeast]) that is causing the infection.

There are many different types of fungal infections. Common types include the following:

  • Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)
  • Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)
  • Tinea Capitis
  • Onychomycosis
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015