Tinea is a caused by a fungus that can grown on your skin, hair or nails.As the fungus grows it spreads out in a circle leaving normal-appearing skin in the middle and a ring or edge of redness and scale. To some people, the infection looks like “ worm” and so the common name “ Ringworm”. Rest assure there is no worm under your skin. The fungus can be spread by close contact with someone who has tinea. Fungus can live on damp surfaces, like the floors in public showers or locker rooms. Your pets especially cats and dogs can have tinea and spread it to you
Tinea can infect any area, but is most commonly seen on the feet, “athletes foot”, groin “jock itch” and body “ring worm”
Often we are be able to diagnose a fungal infection just by examining your skin. If it is difficult to diagnose, we may scrape the skin or take a biopsy to confirm.
How is tinea treated?
Topical antifungals – Most tinea infections respond to a topical antifungal. There are many prescription or over the counter antifungals that we often recommend. Treatment should continue for at least one week after clearance the rash to prevent recurrence.
Oral antifungals – Ocassionally, oral antifunagals are prescribed for more extensive cases. Usually, they are also needed for scalp/hair follicle involvement and for severe cases of the finger and toenail fungal infections.
What can I do to prevent tinea infections?
Skin that is kept clean and dry is your best defense. However, you’re also less likely to get a tinea infection if you do the following things:
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- When you’re at home, take your shoes off and expose your feet to the air.
- Change your socks and underwear every day, especially in warm weather.
- Dry your feet carefully (especially between the toes) after using a locker room or public shower.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Instead, wear “flip-flops” sandals or water shoes.
- Try not to wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm weather.
- This makes you sweat more.
- Throw away worn-out exercise shoes. Never borrow other people’s shoes.
- Check your pets for areas of hair loss. Ask your veterinarian to check them too. It’s important to check pets carefully, because if you don’t find out what is causing your fungus infection, you may get it again, even after treatment