Almost all fungal infections require specific therapy. Some are almost always fatal if untreated (i.e. invasive aspergillosis and cryptococcal meningitis). Others are minor and wax and wane with or without specific therapy (e.g. cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis). In some instances surgery is required, either for diagnosis or therapy. A few infections require ‘cleaning out’ type procedures such as otitis externa, obstructing bronchial aspergillosis and allergic fungal rhinosinusitis.
This section describes the major antifungal drugs used, and provides an introduction to other important aspects of treatment, such as corticosteroids, immunotherapy with gamma interferon and surgery. Additional specific information is given in each disease section to guide the treatment of that disease, although the sections are complementary and neither comprehensive. For this reason, and also because other factors determine the suitability of individual people for individual therapies, what is written here is a guide only and should not be taken as definitive for the management of an affected individual. Key other factors influencing therapy choices include other drugs (because of drug interactions), other diseases and patient preferences. View video "Disease progression and approaches to therapy".