Diagnosis of a fungal disease
The first difficulty is to think of a fungal infection at all. Although the findings are typical for athlete's foot and nail fungus, systemic mycoses are often unspecific, especially in the early stages, and the symptoms depend on localization, pathogens and pre-existing conditions. In local infections with their typical appearance is often no smear needed because the pathogens are known and can be treated accordingly.
Otherwise, the detection often takes place via a fungal culture of skin material, body secretions or blood prepared by the microbiologist. However, this is not suitable for every fungus genus, also the mushrooms grow very slowly.
Diagnosis at an advanced stage
In more advanced stages, imaging techniques such as ultrasound, X-ray or computed tomography can also be used to see the tissue changes. In suspected esophageal thrush, a gastroscopy can be carried out in suspected cases of intestinal fungal disease may be analyzed several stool samples and, where appropriate, carried out a colonoscopy.
Treatment of a fungal disease
In principle, fungicides (antimycotics) are used for the treatment. Depending on the active ingredient, these either kill the fungi or inhibit their growth. Which remedy is used depends on the type of pathogen. Depending on the infection, the antimycotics are applied locally (for example, as an ointment, tincture, cream, lozenge or vaginal tablets, suppositories) or used internally in tablet form or as an infusion.
Internally used fungicides can cause serious side effects and must not be used during pregnancy and lactation. It is also important that the underlying disease is treated.
What can be done against fungal diseases?
The foot and nail fungus can be prevented if you dry your feet carefully after swimming or showering, using socks and shoes made of natural materials and wearing bathing or slippers in public areas. Towels should be changed once a week, with existing fungal infestation, a separate towel for the feet used and this daily be changed.
For intestinal and vaginal fungus, a change in diet may be useful. Unsweetened natural yoghurt improves the intestinal and vaginal environment, a balanced diet rich in vitamins and whole grains strengthens the immune system. For vaginal fungi, avoid tight scrub and synthetic fibers (nylon underwear, jeans) as well as substances that irritate the mucous membrane (for example intimate sprays).
If you have an oral thrush, use a soft toothbrush and often rinse your mouth with sage tea. In the pharmacy you get three percent hydrogen peroxide solutions that can - with a tablespoon diluted in a glass of water - regularly rinse the mouth.