Dr. M.J. Bazos,
Tinea corporis is a common superficial skin
infection caused by a fungus. Although frequently called ringworm, it is
actually caused by a very common fungus. This minor skin infection occurs
worldwide and is usually transmitted by contact from infected humans and
animals, as well as from clothing, towels, or anywhere the fungus may come to
rest, such as showers. Tinea corporis is usually diagnosed on visual inspection,
but occasionally a microscopic analysis or culture may be helpful. It is usually
cured with 2–4 weeks of
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Involved areas on the skin
are well-defined, slightly raised, somewhat circular patches. They are usually
red or discolored and have a central clearing. There can be scaling or small
blisters present. Itching is common. Scratching can cause swelling, weeping, and
secondary infection. Scratching can also cause the infection to spread to other
parts of the
a topical antifungal cream or ointment available without a prescription from any
pharmacy, or use the medication prescribed by your doctor. Creams should be
continued for 7 days after the area has cleared to prevent recurrence. Treat all
affected areas no matter how small, even those that may have just started. If
you have been prescribed medication to take orally, be certain to complete the
entire course of therapy.
• Keep all affected areas
clean and dry.
• Wash and dry off,
then apply cream.
• Wash towels and
bedding more frequently while infected with tinea
• Check pets for infection.
If frequent scratching or abnormal-appearing skin or hair loss exists, consult
• Wear cotton
clothing. Change clothing frequently to prevent skin from becoming damp or
• Periodically inspect skin
for early recurrences and treat
• Don’t share
• Don’t wear nylon
or synthetic clothing over affected areas because this keeps moisture in contact
with the skin.
• Avoid wearing
clothing that chafes the skin.
Avoid direct contact with individuals with tinea
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• If the rash is not
improved after 1–2 weeks of
• If any signs of a
secondary infection exist, such as fever, pus drainage,oozing, crusting, or
• If any scarring or