Fungal infections are common throughout much of the natural world. In humans, fungal infections occur when an invading fungus takes over an area of the body and is too much for the immune system to handle.
Fungal diseases are often caused by fungi that are common in the environment. Most fungi are not dangerous, but some types can be harmful to health.
Fungi can live in the air, soil, water, and plants. There are also some fungi that live naturally in the human body.
A common fungal infection that causes small, discoloured patches of skin.
versicolor is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. It most often affects teens and young adults. The condition isn't contagious.
Symptoms include patches of skin that are lighter or darker than the surrounding skin, often on the torso and shoulders.
Treatments such as anti-fungal creams, lotions or shampoos are usually effective. However, skin discolouration may last for weeks to months.
A disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches.
Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning.
Loss of skin colour can affect any part of the body, including the mouth, hair and eyes. It may be more noticeable in people with darker skin.
Treatment may improve the appearance of the skin but doesn't cure the disease.
A skin rash triggered by a reaction to food, medicine or other irritants.
Hives is a common skin rash triggered by many things, including certain foods, medication and stress.
Symptoms include itchy, raised, red or skin-coloured welts on the skin's surface.
Hives usually go away without treatment, but antihistamine medication is often helpful in improving symptoms.
A contagious, intensely itchy skin condition caused by a tiny, burrowing mite.
Scabies is contagious and spreads quickly through close physical contact in a family, school or nursing home.
The most common symptom of scabies is intense itching in the area where the mites burrow.
Scabies can be treated by killing the mites and their eggs with medication that's applied from the neck down and left on for eight hours. The mites can also be killed using oral medication.