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Allergy & Immunology

Immunology Bacterial & Fungal Infections

Your skin protects your insides and is like a wall that helps stop germs, dirt, bacteria and other unwanted pathogens from getting in. Your skin is also involved in important functions like controlling your body temperature and your respiration (gas exchange).  New skins cells constantly replace old ones. Unfortunately, the skin is still vulnerable to infection as it interacts with microscopic bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens.

Fungal skin Infections are very common and include athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, and yeast infections. Ringworm, also known as tinea, is a superficial skin infection caused by a fungus. Despite its name, it is not caused by a worm. Even though fungal infections are usually treatable with anti-fungal medications, they can be quite uncomfortable. They may itch or burn, or have a rash. Some fungal infections require oral medication, especially if the hair or nails are involved. Yeast and yeast-like organisms can also cause skin disorders.

Another way you might get a skin infection is from bacteria. Cellulitis refers to a bacterial infection of deeper skin tissue while impetigo defines a crusty oozing infection of the skin surface. Bacteria are living organisms like fungi, but are very different. Instead of being multicellular they are single-celled organisms. Bacteria also reproduce differently than fungi.

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