person scratching dry arm

Is it a Fungal Infection or Eczema?

If you’re noticing your skin is red, itchy, and irritated, you may be wondering whether it’s eczema or a fungal infection. Eczema and fungal infections are often confused for one another because of their physical resemblance. In this post, we’ll share some helpful information on what to expect when dealing with either condition.

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that affects approximately 10-20% of the worldwide population. The term ‘eczema’ is actually an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions that cause inflamed, itchy, and discolored skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. Although eczema can affect people of all ages, it usually develops in childhood. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes eczema but it’s believed to be linked to genetics and environmental factors. Common eczema triggers include pet fur, mold, pollen, certain fabrics like nylon and latex, food, ingredients found in skincare products, and stress.

What’s a Fungal Infection?

Certain fungi naturally live on everybody’s skin. Most of these bacteria and fungi aren’t dangerous. In fact, we need them for our bodies to function properly. However, if fungi or bacteria start to multiple uncontrollably, they can cause infections. For example, a yeast infection occurs when the skin becomes infected with the fungus candida. This can happen due to wearing tight clothing, obesity, consistently damp or wet skin, warm weather, poor hygiene, or the use of corticosteroids or other medications that affect the immune system.

Hand fungus is another common condition that’s contracted by touching something contaminated with fungus. It’s characterized by a slightly raised rash and is often associated with ringworm.

Is Eczema Fungal?

Although at first glance, eczema can appear similar to a fungal infection, they are, in fact, different. While eczema is a chronic condition, fungal infections are neither chronic nor genetic. Rather, they are caused by common fungi found in the environment. Eczema can develop anywhere on the body but fungal infections tend to stick to moist areas of the body such as between the toes, in the genital areas, under the arms, and under the breasts. In addition, it’s important to note that fungal infections can be passed from person to person via physical touch while eczema is not contagious.

Treating Eczema and Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are typically treated with antifungal drugs that are usually applied directly to the affected area. However if you'd like to try healing it naturally, our Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is made with just 6 ingredients, including the powerful Manuka honey. We love it because Manuka oil is 20 to 30 times more effective against bacteria and 5 to 10 times more effective against fungus than tea tree oil. It’s great for soothing the itchy symptoms of eczema while also warding off potential infections and fighting fungus.

We also recommend this Hot Skin Soother. It’s great for soothing oozing, inflamed, red or angry looking skin caused by eczema or fungal infections. Made with certified safe herbs, it’s effective in treating irritation in armpits, the groin area, skin folds, and elbow or knee creases. It’s perfect for treating topical bacteria, yeast, and fungus.

Lastly, check out this Tallow Soap Bar with Zinc. With its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it helps heal wounds, prevent infection, soothe rashes, and reduce inflammation. Feel free to use it from head to toe so that you can enjoy healthier, happier skin all over.


Bio: Kazandra is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company with a flair for creative storytelling rooted in strategy. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.