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This article is about the medical term. For the genus of moth, see Tinea (moth).
Classification and external resources
DiseasesDB 17492
MedlinePlus 001439
MeSH D014005

Tinea (often called ringworm) is any of a variety of skin mycoses.[1] Tinea is a very common fungal infection of the skin. Tinea is often called "ringworm" because it is circular, and has a "ring-like" appearance.

It is sometimes equated with dermatophytosis, and, while most conditions identified as "tinea" are members of the imperfect fungi that make up the dermatophytes, conditions such as tinea nigra and tinea versicolor are not caused by dermatophytes.

Signs and causes[edit]

  • Itching and stinging
  • Red scaly rash that is shaped like a ring
  • Cracking, splitting and peeling on toes
  • Blisters
  • Yellow or white discoloration on the finger nails
  • Spots with no hair on scalp

The cause of tinea are dermatophytes that grow on the dead keratin cells skin. These cells multiply in warm, damp environments on the body and can be transmitted by touch from human or animal.

Types of tinea[edit]

Tinea capitis: Tinea of the scalp

Tinea pedis: Athlete’s foot

Tinea manuum: Tinea of the hands

Tinea unguium (also known as onychomycosis): Nail infection

Tinea barbae: Tinea of the beard area

Tinea cruris: Jock itch

Tinea corporis: Tinea of the body


Antifungal creams or medication can be prescribed by a physician or even bought over-the-counter.

These steps should be taken to treat tinea.

  • Wash and then dry the area.
  • Apply the antifungal cream, powder, or spray as directed on the label.
  • Continue this treatment for 2 weeks, even if symptoms disappear, to prevent the infection from coming back tolerant.

Prevention of tinea[edit]

In general, to avoid or control Tinea where infection is likely:

  • avoid exposure to infections by avoiding places such as public baths where the fungi commonly are prevalent
  • prevent contact with the fungi when visits to such places are necessary
  • remove possibly invading organisms from the skin by suitable personal hygiene
  • deny fungi favourable conditions for growth by avoiding either moisture or high humidity on the skin
  • discourage spores and fungal threads by keeping clothes and equipment dry, clean and aired.

In detail:

  • Keep body clean with regular washing, perhaps with medicated antifungal soap
  • Dry the body thoroughly and quickly after washing; suitable powder can help with the drying
  • Launder clothing with hot water and aggressive detergents, and dry it thoroughly before stowing
  • Store clothing as dry as may be, perhaps with antifungal powder in highly unfavourable conditions
  • Change underwear daily at least
  • In public showering areas and locker rooms, wear shower shoes or socks
  • When possible change shoes often and powder them to prevent moisture and fungal growth
  • Avoid socks that retain moisture; change and dry socks as frequently and thoroughly as practical
  • Wear shoes that are well ventilated to help keep the feet dry
  • Do not share clothes, brushes, combs, socks, underwear and other intimate articles
  • Where close contact is a problem in shared quarters, keep combs, razors etc in antiseptic liquid when not in use


http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Tinea http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/dermatophytosis-tinea-infections# http://www.medicinenet.com/ringworm/page6.htm http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/fungal/ringworm.html#

  1. ^ "tinea". medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25.