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Some fungal infections are caused by normal flora and by fungi that are present throughout the environment; therefore, not every fungal infection can be prevented and some of them may recur after treatment.

Many superficial fungal infections will resolve with only a topical antifungal treatment, but some cases may require oral antifungal therapy. People with serious lung and systemic fungal infections will require oral and sometimes intravenous medications. The choice of which antifungals to use is based upon the doctor’s experience, on the results of the fungal culture, and on the results of susceptibility testing, if it is available.

Treatment length varies by type, location, and persistence of infection. Vaginal yeast infections, for instance, may require only a few days of therapy to resolve, while fungal skin infections may take a couple of months. Systemic infections may require consistent treatment for a couple of years in order to resolve and, in some cases, people with suppressed immune systems may need to be treated with a maintenance therapy for the rest of their lives. Occasionally, surgery may be necessary to remove fungal masses.

Last Review Date: November 27, 2018