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Tinea Corporis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is tinea corporis?

Tinea corporis, also called ringworm, is a skin infection caused by a fungus. It usually affects the skin on the face, chest, or limbs. Tinea corporis is most common in children and athletes.

What increases my risk for tinea corporis?

Tinea corporis can be spread by touching an infected person or pet. You can also get it by touching or using items that have been used by that person or pet. Items include towels, clothes, and bed linens. In schools and daycare, include sleep mats and stuffed animals. In public places, items include pool or gym surfaces, wrestling mats, and shower stalls.

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. The infection looks like you have a worm under your skin, but there is no worm.


How is tinea corporis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may be able to tell you have tinea corporis by looking at your skin. Your provider may look at a skin sample through a microscope. This will help your provider know the type of fungus that is causing your infection.

How is tinea corporis treated?

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

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to prevent tinea corporis?

When should I call my doctor?

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 healthcare providers 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.

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