Fungus on Fingers (Hand Fungus or Tinea Manuum): Common Causes, Symptoms, and Home Treatments

Fungus on fingers

Tinea Mannum or Fungus on hand or fingers is a contagious disease. It is the fungal infection caused by a species of the fungi (dermatophytes).

When you catch this infection, you’ll notice rashes of circular shape. Other symptoms include – itching, burning, cracking, and scaling.

The symptoms are often transmitted sexually or otherwise. You can also get fungus on fingers from the infected animals.

Fungus on fingers or hand can be treated with the long-term use of anti-fungal medications like selenium sulfide shampoo or oral antifungal such as griseofulvin.

Related Reading: How to Get Rid of Ringworm?


Symptoms of Hand Fungus or Fungus on Fingers

When you get fungus on your fingers or hand, you’ll notice the following symptoms:

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  • The infected area on your hand will normally start small and gradually become larger over time.
  • The infection will start on the palm and may or may not spread to your fingers and the back of your hand.
  • The area infected with tinea will be itchy, red, and have a scaly appearance.
  • The infected area may also peel and flake.
  • The rashes will be circular with raised borders.
  • Discoloration of skin at the infected area would happen.
  • Blisters would be formed on the palms of your hands and will result in itching and burning.
  • Blisters may appear in clusters that will ooze fluid and can even bleed if your skin becomes dry or cracked.

Related Reading: Maculopapular Rash: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


What Causes Hand Fungus?

There are numerous species of dermatophytes that can lead to fungal infection of hand. Here are the following causes of hand fungus:

1. Ringworm

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection caused by mold-like parasites. It is spread by the animals, especially cats. Ringworm is more likely to found in children who have contact with animals. It is known as tinea corporis.

Gardeners can easily get affected by this fungus on fingers. It is the most common type of hand fungus that can spread by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Related Reading: How to Treat Ringworm on Scalp (Tinea Capitis)?

2. Tinea Nigra

Tinea Nigra is not caused by dermatophyte but by “Hortaeawerneckii,” yet another type of fungi. It causes dark brown patches on your palms. It is painless but very itchy and irritating.

3. Tinea Unguium

Tinea Unguium is the type of dermatophyte that usually affects your nails.

This infection usually attacks the toenails, but fingernails can also get affected. When you get this infection, you will notice your nails getting thickened, discolored and brittle.

Tinea Unguium often leads to inflammation and causes the scaly skin around the infected nail area. You may notice a powdery white particle beneath the nails. It leads to painless separation of the nail from the nail bed.

4. Tinea Fungal Virus

You can get infected even by touching the objects that are affected by this fungi. Having a person to person contact with infected people leads to tinea magnum or tinea fungal virus.

5. Pityriasis Nigra

Pityriasis Nigra is the rarest type of hand virus found. It also spread from person to person contact.


Risk Factors

Hand fungus can occur to any person, and it is more likely to arise in the following conditions:

  • Pre-existing dermatophyte infection elsewhere on the body.
  • Close personal contact with a fungal skin infection.
  • A person who sweats excessively (hyperhidrosis) or has other skin diseases.
  • Regular contact with pets which is a more likely cause in children.
  • Gardeners due to regular contact with soil and other manual laborers through inanimate objects (fomites) contaminated with soil.
  • Farmworkers handling livestock, particularly cattle, or soil.
  • The weak immune system leads to fungal infection.
  • In humid weathers, you are more likely to be infected by the fungal infection.

Diagnosis of Hand Fungus or Fungus on Fingers

The diagnosis done by the clinical exposition and other skin diseases that have a similar aspect should be excluded.

Further diagnostic examinations are the same as for other dermatophyte contaminations and may include skin scrapings, fungal cultures or biopsy.

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A characteristic clinical sign that is evocative of the skin rash being fungal in origin is called the “two feet – one hand” syndrome. In this instance, both feet may have the same dermatophyte rash (tinea pedis) and one hand (tinea manuum).

It is typically the commanding hand or hand that is used for grooving the feet that are infected with the rash.

Related Reading: Clammy Hands and How to Prevent Them


Home Remedies for Hand Fungus (Tinea Manuum)

Apart from the anti-fungal prescribed medicines that your physician suggests you, there are some easy ways to cure this infection.

Here are some home remedies that you should try to get rid of this fungal infection:

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been traditionally used as a topical antiseptic for the fungus treatment.

To treat fungus on fingers, put your hands in a bucket or tub containing warm water and 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil. For better results, repeat this process twice a day.

2. Fish oil

Fish oil supplements are beneficial for the fungal disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil help you soothe the fungal infection naturally.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

When you soak your hands in hydrogen peroxide, it may kill the fungus on fingers. However, it may cause extreme dryness and you will need to keep a moisturizer with you just to heel the dry area.

4. Vinegar

It is believed that vinegar resists the fungal infection and controls it to a great extent. You can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to treat fungus on fingers.

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5. Probiotics

Probiotic drinks are rich in lactobacillus bacteria. It can help you maintain the balance between your skin and the infections. Probiotics are one of the best ways to get rid of the hand fungus infection.

6. B-Complex Vitamins

Vitamin B is the best supplement for healthy skin. Eating foods that are rich in Vitamin B can help you fight the skin infections, fungus on hand or fingers.

7. Cat’s Claw

Taking 20mg of cat’s claw three times a day can help you reduce the fungal infection from your body. However, cat’s claw can easily interact with some other drugs, so it’s better to consult a doctor before consuming it.

8. Grapefruit Seed Extract

This is the yet another popular home remedy for the fungus on fingers. It is rich in anti-fungal and immune building components. Grapefruit seed extract can help you get rid of fungus on your hands naturally.

9. Sulfur

Sulfur is most commonly used in homeopathic medications. It is considered to be one of the best home remedies for the hand fungus. It is used in the creams to detain the fungus infection.

10. Home-made Creams

Sometimes homemade things turn out to be the best way to overcome the infections. You can make your own home-made anti-fungal cream to treat fungus on fingers.

  • Mix ½ cup of baking soda and three tsp vinegar.
  • Stir the mixture until it becomes thick like a paste, and then keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Apply it to the infected area two-three times a day.

Other fungus treatment may include drinking green tea or soaking your hands into the mouthwash. All you need to do is to take extra care and follow the guidelines of the treatment.


How to Prevent Hand Fungus?

  • Use the medicine completely and as recommended. The fungus may still be present long after it is no longer visible as a rash.
  • Keep feet clean, cool and dry. Change socks. Wear shoes that “breathe” like leather, rather than plastic.
  • Make sure shoes fit correctly and are not too tight.
  • Apply an anti-fungal cream, like Lotrimin or Lamisil, or a prescription antifungal cream to the bottom of the feet, and on the nails, about twice a week.
  • Avoid walking barefoot, especially in bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, on carpeting, and in public bathing areas.
  • Keep toenails short, cut straight across and avoid ingrown nails.

Sources:
“Hand Fungus”, Hx Benefit website, October 12, 2017; https://www.hxbenefit.com/hand-fungus.html
“Hand Fungus”, Health Blogger website, September 26, 2017; https://www.ihealthblogger.com/hand-fungus-symptoms-causes-pictures-and-treatment
Malone, S., “Hand Fungus”, http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/articles/1202/health-advice/hand-fungus.html
“Hand Fungus”, Healthool website; https://healthool.com/hand-fungus
https://www.epainassist.com/skin/hand-fungus
Well, K. D., “Tinea Manuum”, Health line website, April 20, 2017; https://www.healthline.com/health/tinea-manuum#overview1

Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.