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Home :: Skin Disorders

Tinea Corporis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Tinea corporis is an infection of the body surface by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. It is usually caused by species of Trichophyton or Microsporum, ringworm of the body. Tinea corporis is often confused with a large boil or carbuncle or a tumour such as a skin cancer. For the typical healthy person ringworm is a harmless infection. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs. It is characterized by a pink to red rash and often considerable itching. The lesions vary in size from very small circular patches to very large patches. Tinea corporis is transmitted by skin to skin contact, as well as via contact with contaminated items such as hairbrushes. Poor hygiene, long-term wetness of the skin and minor skin and nail injuries raise your risk for a fungal infection. The term ringworm refers to round or oval red scaly patches, often less red and scaly in the middle or healed in the middle. Sometimes one ring arises inside another older ring. Kerion is an inflamed fungal abscess. It presents as a boggy mass studied with pustules, often with satellite spots.

Fungi that can cause a skin infection are present everywhere and are difficult to avoid. However, if possible, refrain from direct skin to skin contact with people or animals suspected of having a fungal infection. Severe or chronic infection may require further treatment by the health care provider. Oral antifungal medications may be given. It is very important to continue the use of the antifungal cream or oral medication for one week after the lesions have cleared because there may be fungus under the skin which is not visible with the unaided eye. Like many other fungal skin infections, warmth and humidity favor the occurrence of this infection. Therefore, tropical and subtropical regions have a higher incidence of tinea corporis. Most treatment failures occur because patients stop the medication too early. Wash the hands thoroughly after contact with any fungal infection, including contact to treat the infection.

Causes of Tinea corporis

Tinea corporis is a common skin disorder, especially among children, but it may occur in people of all ages. Tinea corporis is caused by a fungus. Tinea corporis is contagious. You can catch the condition if you come into direct contact with someone who is infected, or if you touch contaminated items such as combs, clothing, shower floors and walls, or pool surfaces. The fungi can also be spread by pets.

Common causes and risk factors of Tinea corporis:

  • Trichophyton and Microsporum canis.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Crowded living conditions.
  • Keratin.
  • A group of fungi known collectively as dermatophytes.
  • Nail injuries.

Signs and Symptoms of Tinea corporis

The fungus spreads from the centre of the patch but the activity is confined to the outer edge. Occasionally, inflammation is more severe and manifests as sudden vesicular or bullous disease or as an inflamed boggy lesion of the scalp. The term ringworm refers to round or oval red scaly patches, often less red and scaly in the middle or healed in the middle. Sometimes one ring arises inside another older ring. The patches are ring-shaped or oval and the edges are red and scaly. Inside the ring, the skin may be a bit scaly but looks normal in all other respects.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Itching at the affected area.
  • Skin lesion or rash.
  • Inflammation and scaling of the infected area.
  • Skin rashes becomes itchy.
  • The patches are ring-shaped or oval and the edges are red and scaly.

Treatment for Tinea corporis

Topical antifungal creams, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar ingredients, are often effective in controlling ringworm. It is very important to continue the use of the antifungal cream and oral medication for one week after the lesions have cleared because there may be fungus under the skin which is not visible with the unaided eye. Chronic infection may require further treatment by the health care provider. Oral antifungal medications may be given. Stronger, prescription topical antifungal medications, such as ketoconazole may be needed. Most treatment failures occur because patients stop the medication too early.

Treatment may include:

  • Topical therapy is useful in cases of non inflammatory lesions.
  • Systemic therapy with griseofulvin, terbinafine, ketoconazole, itraconazole or fluconazole is very beneficial for the treatment of tinea corporis.
  • Oral anti-fungal medicine are generally used when it becomes difficult to eliminate the infection.
  • Antibiotics may be needed to treat secondary bacterial infections.