While there are many types of fungal skin infections, they rarely cause serious danger unless the patient has a compromised immune system that allows infection of the internal organs, according to the Merck Manual. Most fungal infections grow slowly and respond to topical or oral medication.
While there are more than 1.5 million types of fungi living on earth, only about 300 of them cause illness in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These fungi live in many different places, including the human skin. Most fungal infections of the skin cause mild rashes. These infections are very common.
One common way for fungal infections to reproduce is by producing spores, according to MedlinePlus. These spores travel through the air and land on a person. People are more likely to develop fungal infections if they are taking antibiotics.
Bacteria in the digestive system help to prevent many fungal infections, reports the Merck Manual. However, if an individual is taking antibiotics for another condition, the medication interferes with the body's natural balance, killing helpful bacteria and allowing the fungal infection to grow unchecked. When the person stops taking the medication, the bacteria normally return and resolve the fungal infection. Other medications that put the person at increased risk for a fungal infection include chemotherapy drugs for cancer, corticosteroids and drugs prescribed to prevent rejection of an organ transplant.