Symptoms, treatment & prevention from tinea corpus


Known in medical terms as tinea corporis cruris, and more commonly as ringworm, tinea corpus is essentially a skin disease. It is not caused by worms but actually by a strain of fungus called dermatophytes, which affect and infect the topmost layer of the epidermis, and survive in dead keratin. Tinea corpus occurs more commonly in tropical environments where the climate is warm and humid. It affects both genders equally. Tinea corpus is usually spread by contact with infected people or infected materials such as combs, bedding, clothing, towels or linen, and sometimes from the floors of swimming pools or showers. In some cases tinea corpus may spread through infected soil, in case the fungus has remained in the soil. Animals such as cats, dogs, pigs, horses and rabbits have also been known to spread the infection. People with weakened immune systems or those who have poor hygiene are more susceptible. It can also spread more easily through minor cuts or injuries on the skin.


The tinea corpus ringworm starts with as flat, scaly lesion on the skin. This gradually develops into a circular raised border, which looks like a red inflamed ring (thus giving it its common name). While the center is flat with fine scaling, tinea corporis symptoms, especially the more serious cases, might also include pustules or vesicles. Tinea corporis tinea cruris can appear anywhere on the body, especially the exposed areas such as the arms, hands, fingers, toes or feet, and even on the scalp. There may be single rashes, or multiple and even overlapping ones.


Tinea corporis treatment includes the use of topical creams which are applied locally, supplemented by oral medications for the more serious cases. Antifungal creams which contain ketoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole or terbinafine have been found to be effective when applied on the lesions. The creams must be applied twice a day and the treatment may take 3 to 4 weeks. The lesions usually show some improvement after 2 weeks, and may require another further 2 weeks of application, before the fungus is completely exterminated. Doctors also often recommend oral medications such as terbinafine or itraconazole. These usually need a single dose for at least 7 days, and are credited with a total cure rate.


Proper hygiene is the best way to prevent tinea corpus. Wash your hands frequently especially after you have been in contact with infected people or pets. Avoid sharing clothes, combs and other articles of intimate use with others. Keep your bathroom floors dry and clean. Wear sandals when visiting public places such as swimming pools.

answered by M W

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