Fungal infections: Symptoms, types and treatment options

Fungal infections: Symptoms, types and treatment options

Fungi cause fungal infections and are everywhere. Sometimes, they are too small to see with the naked eye. Fungi can live outdoors in soil and on plants; indoors on surfaces and in the air; and on people’s skin and inside the body. In fact, there are millions of fungal species, but only a few hundred of them can make people sick.

Symptoms of a fungal infection

The symptoms of a fungal infection will depend on the type, but common symptoms include:

  • skin changes, including red and possibly cracking or peeling skin
  • itching

Types of fungal infections


This raised, red, circular, itchy fungal infection can occur on the body or scalp. You’re at greater risk if you come in contact with a pet or person with ringworm or with contaminated items. However, you can prevent it by keeping your body clean and dry. It spreads easily, so don’t share personal items.

Creams and medicated ointments, like Terbane, are often sufficient to treat many cases of ringworm, and may be purchased without a prescription. But ringworm of the scalp or severe ringworm may require a prescription.

Athlete’s foot

Itchy, burning, cracked, and peeling feet? Athlete’s foot is a form of ringworm that usually develops between the toes. It can spread via wet locker room floors and contaminated towels and shoes. However, you can prevent it by wearing shower shoes at the gym, washing your feet daily, drying them well, and wearing clean socks.

Athlete’s foot is often treated with topical anti-fungal ointments, which are available from The Local Choice Pharmacy. Severe infections can require additional oral medications.

Jock itch

A raised, itchy, red rash around your groin means you probably have jock itch, which can affect men and women (although it is more common in males). It’s another type of ringworm, and it can be caused by sweating and the humid environment. You can prevent it by keeping your groin clean and dry, changing into dry, clean clothes and underwear every day, and avoiding tight clothing.

Treating jock itch usually involves topical anti-fungal ointments and proper hygiene, though some require prescription medications.

Toenail fungus

Brittle, discoloured, thick nails may mean you have nail fungus. It can affect fingernails or toenails. Prevent nail fungus by keeping hands and feet clean and dry, wearing shoes in a public shower, pool, or locker room, and not scratching infected skin, such as athlete’s foot. Remember to also wear wide-toed shoes and don’t share nail clippers.

OTC medications typically aren’t effective. So, your doctor may prescribe a nail lacquer that brushes on like nail polish, or an antibiotic you take by mouth.

Yeast infection

Candida albicans is a type of fungus that can infect your skin, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, or genitals. It’s normal for small amounts of candida albicans to be present on your skin and in your body. But when these fungi multiply too much, they can cause an infection known as a yeast infection.

Your treatment options will depend on the type of yeast infection you have and whether or not you get yeast infections regularly.

Risk factors

Things that can increase your risk of developing a fungal infection, include environmental factors as well as what’s going on in your body when you’re exposed to a fungus.

  • Dampness and humidity
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Menopausal status
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Nail and skin injury or infection
  • Certain medications


Good hygiene is critical for avoiding fungal infections. Try to:

  • keep your skin clean and dry, particularly the folds of your skin
  • wash your hands often, especially after touching animals or other people
  • avoid using other people’s towels and other personal care products
  • wear shoes in locker rooms, community showers, and swimming pools
  • wipe gym equipment before and after using it

A red, itchy, scaly rash can be unsightly and drive you crazy. But most fungal infections aren’t dangerous, and you can usually treat them easily with topical anti-fungal creams like Terbane. However, if you tend to get repeated fungal infections, talk to your healthcare provider about how to prevent rashes from returning.

Frequently Asked Questions about Terbane:

What does Terbane cream contain?

Terbane cream contains the active ingredient Terbinafine, which is effective and well tolerated. In fact, Terbinafine has been shown to work within a short treatment period (usually one week); and can maintain the cure over many months. This is important as repeat infections are common.

Do I need a prescription for Terbane cream?

No, Terbane cream is a Schedule 1 medicine. So, it is available over the counter from The Local Choice Pharmacy.

How quickly does Terbane cream work?

Relief of symptoms usually occurs within a few days. Therefore, Terbane cream is usually only used for one to two weeks, depending on the condition being treated. But if there are no signs of improvement after two weeks, the diagnosis should be verified. Do not use Terbane cream for longer than one month.

Can I use Terbane cream on a child?

The use of Terbinafine in infants and children under 12 years of age has not been studied enough and it therefore cannot be recommended for this age group. Rather speak to your healthcare provider for advice on how to treat your younger child.


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Disclaimer: All content on the The Local Choice Pharmacy is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.