Definition of Fungi

Fungi are a group of eukaryotic microorganisms , which contain biological characteristics that differentiate them from the animal kingdom , thus creating a kingdom of their own.

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Fungi are characterized by synthesizing their own nutrients, they already lack chlorophyll , which forces them to live as parasites, usually of plants and, to a lesser extent, of animals. Likewise, the fungi that can cause mycosis in humans are mostly human saprophytes, and they can live permanently with it without causing an infection, and on certain occasions they can cause infection.

These have a low capacity to cause disease in mammals . According to the Spanish academy and dermatology, “there are more than 80,000 species of fungi, however, only fifty have been shown to have the ability to cause infections in healthy humans. The list could be extended to 300 if immuno-depressed patients are taken into account, that is, with altered natural defenses for certain reasons.

Pathogenic fungi can affect any organ , but the most frequent are the famous infections called superficial mycoses or dermatomycosis. These tend to be benign in nature and mainly affect the outer layers of the scalp, nails, skin or mucous membranes, equally in both sexes, at all ages, although some of them are more frequent in childhood. , such as ringworms of the scalp and fungal infections of the nails are seen with more incidence in adults.


Among the factors that induce the appearance of fungi present on the skin is the moisture retained in clothing, as well as in synthetic materials footwear and contact with various surfaces, such as sand, since the moisture is eliminated. acid mantle and skin fat, which prevent the action of these pathogenic microorganisms.

Usually these microorganisms appear in the summer season, just when the heat and humidity favor their incidence and, even, the increase of habits that facilitate their contagion, such as the use of gyms, community pools or sports facilities with their corresponding showers.


The signs that the patient presents with a fungal skin infection are divided into:

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis: in most cases it is asymptomatic.
  • Genital candidiasis : vulvovaginitis is itchy, coupled with thick white vaginal discharge and dysuria. Balanitis accompanies diaper rash and cause itch like symptoms.
  • Onychomycosis : arise in the nails of the hands and is usually related to the infection around the nail.
  • Congenital candidiasis : it especially affects the skin of newborns and children of mothers with candida chorioamnionitis. It arises in the first six months of life and presents with diffuse lesions on the trunk, soles of the feet, and the palms of the hands.
  • Dermatophytosis or ringworm of the beard : it is present in hairy areas of the face and neck, the lesions tend to be pustular and inflammatory, boils, pustules and painful scabs that can cause scarring alopecia.
  • Athlete’s foot : causes cracking and pain between the toes, itching and raw skin, followed by discoloration and weakening of the nails and the sole of the foot may be affected.
  • Dermatophytides : occurs in 5-15% of patients with any type of nails and arises at a site distant from the primary infection. It disappears without the need for any type of treatment when treating the triggering fungal lesion.
  • Malassezia: a superficial mycosis is generated, called pityriasis versicolor, the lesions are distinguished by being well-defined, convergent macules, covered by fine brownish scales that are easily detached.

Examples of Mushrooms

  1. Rhizomucor pusillus
  2. Endomycetes
  3. Schizophyllum commune
  4. Paracoccidioides brasiliensis
  5. Candida albicans
  6. Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  7. Aspergillus nidulans
  8. Absidia corymbifera
  9. Coprinus cinereus
  10. Hispanic apiosordaria
  11. Fly agaric
  12. Ganoderma lucidum or Lingzhi
  13. Lentinula edodes
  14. Lactarius salmonicolor
  15. Corolus Versicolor
  16. Morchella esculenta

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