Varieties of Fungal and Yeast Infections

Symptoms and Treatments for 10 Different Types

Yeast and fungi can cause infections in your body and on your skin. These organisms are part of the fungal kingdom, which includes mushrooms and molds, and they are separate from bacteria, viruses, amoeba, and plants.

Many people associate yeast infections with the vagina, and that is one type of yeast infection. But there are other kinds of yeast infections that can affect skin all over the body.

Yeast infection causes and risk factors

Verywell / Emily Roberts


You might cringe at the thought of having a fungal or yeast infection. The reality, however, is that many types of fungi live on the skin all the time, even though you can't see them.

Most of the time, these fungi don't cause any problems, but sometimes a fungus will change and cause an infection. These are some of the more common fungal and yeast infections that people experience.

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is also known as pityriasis versicolor. It is a fungal infection of the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. The yeast that is responsible for this rash loves oil glands, so teenagers and young adults tend to get tinea versicolor more often than older people.

There is a treatment for tinea versicolor, but the infection often comes back. Fortunately, this infection doesn't cause any pain or itching.

Tinea Versicolor of the torso

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ 2022

Jock Itch

Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris, is a fungal infection of the skin in the groin. Fungi flourish in a warm, moist environment—and that certainly describes the groin. Women can get jock itch, though the infection tends to strike men. 

Jock itch can be very itchy, as its name implies, but it usually responds well to over-the-counter fungal infection creams. Preventing jock itch involves keeping the groin as dry as possible and sometimes using an antifungal powder every day.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection of the feet. There are different types of athlete's foot infections, but the most common one occurs in between the toes. This infection causes intense itching and breaks down the skin, so it often looks like white goo between the toes.

Athlete's foot is typically treated with creams or lotions. But sometimes a severe case will require an oral antifungal medication.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Athlete's foot in the area between toes

Reproduced with permission from © DermNet New Zealand 2022


Ringworm, also known as tinea corporis, is a common fungal infection of the skin. There are several fungi that can cause ringworm and they live in the epidermis.

Ringworm causes more symptoms than tinea versicolor, like itching and a noticeable rash. The rash consists of scaly, red patches or bumps that gradually turn into the shape of circles. Its shape makes for an easy diagnosis. It's treated pretty easily with a topical antifungal medication.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Ringworm marking on the skin

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ and ©Raimo Suhonen 2022

Ringworm of the Scalp

Ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, is a more intensive fungal infection than ringworm that appears on other areas of the skin. The fungi that cause this ringworm not only invade the skin of the scalp but also hair follicles. It can cause the involved hair to fall out, leaving a bald spot with a ringworm-type rash in the center.

Tinea capitis does not respond well to topical creams. It has to be treated with oral antifungal medications.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Ringworm rash on the side of a head

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ 2022

Ringworm of the Beard

Ringworm of the beard, or tinea barbae, is similar to ringworm of the scalp in that the fungus infects both the skin and the hair follicle.

The most common type of tinea barbae is an infection deep in the skin that causes very red nodules on the face with pus that drains and tunnels through the skin to other areas close to the nodules. A less common type of tinea barbae is a mild infection on the surface of the skin.

This infection has to be treated with oral antifungal medications. Creams or lotions are not effective.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Ringworm in the beard area

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ 2022

Fungal Nail Infection

A fungal nail infection, or onychomycosis, is caused by a fungal infection in the part of the toe that makes the nail. As the nail grows out, it becomes brittle, thickens, and separates from the nail bed.

Fungal nail infections have to be treated with oral antifungal medications. Creams and lotions don't help.


Intertrigo is a yeast infection that occurs in skin folds. Since this yeast grows easily in warm, moist areas, any place on the body where skin touches skin is susceptible. Intertrigo most commonly occurs in the armpits, in the groin, and under heavy breasts or fat folds.

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Intertrigo infection on skin

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ and ©Waikato District Health Board 2022


Thrush is a yeast infection inside the mouth. It is common in babies because their immune systems are still developing. It can also occur if someone takes antibiotics or uses an inhaled corticosteroid without rinsing his or her mouth afterward. Thrush is easily treated with antifungal medicine in the mouth.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Thrush in the mouth

Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ 2022

Interface Dermatitis Reaction

The interface dermatitis reaction isn't exactly a fungal infection. It's a rash on one part of the body that happens in response to a fungal infection that's somewhere else on the body. An interface dermatitis reaction is very itchy and often causes blisters on the skin. This rash goes away after the fungal infection has been treated.

10 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Heather L. Brannon, MD
Heather L. Brannon, MD, is a family practice physician in Mauldin, South Carolina. She has been in practice for over 20 years.