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What makes skin prone to a fungal infection?

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The tendency for a person to develop fungal infections of the skin often has a genetic basis, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. The immune systems of Individuals predisposed to fungal infections are unable to recognize the fungus as a foreign substance and do not react to fight the infection as vigorously as the immune systems of other people.

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Many people who develop recurrent fungal infections are genetically predisposed to do so, but some may fail to adequately clean items where fungal spores concentrate, reports the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Fungal spores from skin infections can collect in shoes, socks and other items and re-infect a person even after a successful course of anti-fungal treatment. Discarding old socks and shoes and cleaning worn items with an antifungal spray can help prevent new infections by killing off these spores. It is also wise for susceptible individuals to avoid walking barefoot in bathrooms, locker rooms and other places where fungal spores are common.

People with compromised immune systems are also often more susceptible to fungal infections, according to Merck Manual. This includes individuals suffering from diseases such as cancer, AIDS and diabetes, as well as patients taking immunosuppressive drugs. The fungal infections that occur in immunocompromised individuals are often due to fungi that are normally present and nonpathogenic in healthy individuals.

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