The organisms known for feeding on dead or

The human integumentary system, commonly known as
the skin, hair, and nails, is susceptible or vulnerable to various diseases. The
first line of defense is the skin because it is the outermost barrier of our
body, which serves to provide protection and support from outside elements. A
multitude of environmental factors affect the human body, as the outermost
layer, the epidermis, is primarily the
first infected and/or targeted.

Fungi are organisms known for feeding on dead or decaying
tissues. Due to the fact the outermost layer of the skin is composed of dead
cells, it is highly vulnerable to fungal infections. Mycosis is a broad term which can be defined as an infection of the
superficial regions of the body by a fungus, in which tissues are likely to
become a primary target, then the layers of the skin become infected. A plethora
of diseases classified as mycosis could include Tinea Pedis, Tinea
capitis, and Tinea unguium (onychomycosis). For
further clarification, the term tinea, in association with dermatophytosis,
refers to a fungal infection of the skin which results in lesions and severe
itching, better known as ringworm. The term Capitis is the Latin term
for head and thus, Tinea capitis is ringworm of the head. T. capitis, for the most
part, is found on the scalp, eyelashes, or eyebrows, primarily affecting the
hair follicles.

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On the other
hand, Pedis is the lain term for foot, therefore, Tinea
Pedis means a fungal infection of the foot which thrives in moist or
humid conditions. Both T. Capitis
and T. Pedis exhibit similar symptoms:
scaling, clusters of blisters, and round dry and/or itchy patches on the site
of infection.

Lastly, Onychomycosis, medically known as Tinea
unguium, fungal infection pertaining to the fingernails or toenails. Primarily,
T. unguium attacks the entire fingernail,
starting at the matrix (tissue
containing blood vessels the nail rests on), nail bed (skin under the fingernail), and the cuticle (tissue overlapping the fingernail). Symptoms often include
pain and discomfort, itching, and noticeable changes in the physical appearance
of the infected nail such as scaling, flaking, and discoloration.   

Remarkably all
three mycoses may be treated in a similar manner, using antimycotic agents (also known as antifungal medications). These medications are effective when
prescribed in any one of three manners; topically
(on the skin), orally (by mouth), or
intravenously (through a vein). Most
antimycotic medications work by
destroying the fungal cell wall by depleting all thriving resources needed to maintain
the wall, weakening and eventually killing off cells. A common antifungal
medication is Luliconazole cream. Luliconazole is a 1% topical agent, meaning
only 1% is an active ingredient in destroying the cell wall. Therefore, this
could be used to treat T. pedis, as well as T.
capitis. Tinea unguium can be treated with oral medications such as
Nizoral, along with the combination of topical treatments.