Tinea Corporis

What is tinea corporis?

Tinea corporis, or ringworm, is a skin infection caused by a fungus. Tinea corporis is most common in children and athletes.

What increases my risk of tinea corporis?

  • You have skin-to-skin contact with a person who has ringworm.

  • You touch or use items that have been used by a person with ringworm. Items include towels, clothes, and bed linens. In schools and daycare, these items may be sleep mats or stuffed animals. In public places, your may be at risk by touching pool or gym surfaces, wrestling mats, and shower stalls.

  • You touch an infected pet.

What are the signs and symptoms of tinea corporis?

Tinea corporis may begin as 1 or more flat, red patches. As the infection grows, it spreads out in a circle or ring, leaving normal-looking skin in the middle. At the edge of the ring, the skin is red and raised. It may be either dry and scaly, or moist and crusty. The infected skin may itch. Although the infection looks like you have a worm under your skin, there is no worm.

How is tinea corporis diagnosed?

Your caregiver may be able to tell you have tinea corporis by looking at your skin. He may gently scrape off some of your skin and look at the sample through a microscope. This will help him know the type of fungus that is causing your infection.

How is tinea corporis treated?

Tinea corporis is usually treated with antifungal medicine. It may be given as a cream or pill. Take the medicine until it is gone, even if it looks like your infection is gone sooner.

What are the risks of tinea corporis?

The fungus may spread and cause other skin infections You are at risk of getting other skin infections. You may get tinea corporis more than once.

How can I prevent the spread of tinea corporis?

  • Wash all items that come into contact with infected skin: Wash all towels, clothes, and bedding in hot water. Use laundry soap. Clean shower stalls, mats, and floors with a germ-killing or fungus-killing cleaner.

  • Do not share personal items: Do not share towels, brushes, combs, or hair accessories.

  • Keep your skin, hair, and nails clean and dry: Bathe every day, and dry your skin before you put medicine on the infected area. Wash your hands often. Do not scratch your sores. This may cause the infection to spread.

  • Avoid infected pets: A patch of missing fur is a sign of infection in a pet. Take your infected pet to a veterinarian for treatment.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your infection continues to spread after 7 days of treatment.

  • Your infection is not gone in 2 weeks.

  • The area around your sore becomes red, warm, tender, swollen, or smells bad.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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