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Body Ringworm

Tinea corporis

  • Tinea corporis is more commonly known as ringworm.  It is a fungal infection of the skin.  The rash is generally ring shaped and has a scaly border.  Treatment is usually with anti-fungus creams or with oral anti-fungus pills.

  • Dry, red, elevated scaly skin bumps 
  • A rash is present.  The rash can be either ring shaped with a scaly border and a clear center, or it may just be a scaly patch.  It is usually reddish in color.
  • Often the rash is itchy. 

  • Ringworm is due to a fungal infection of the skin.  It usually occurs on areas of the body not covered by clothing, such as the arms and face.
  • Direct contact with infected person, scales or hairs
  • Sometimes, it can be spread to humans from an infected cat. 

  • Examination -- the doctor usually easily recognizes the typical appearance of the rash. 
  • The doctor may also scrape the rash and look at a sample of it under the microscope.
  • Sometimes a culture of the rash may be needed to make the diagnosis.
  • Rarely will a biopsy needed. 

  • Treatment with any one of the numerous anti-fungus creams. 
  • Usually, such treatment needs to be continued for 1 to 2 weeks after the rash has cleared.  Sometimes, over-the-counter anti-fungus creams are enough.  Other times, you may need a prescription-strength cream.
  • Creams usually do not work on fungal infections of the nails.  These need to be treated with oral anti-fungus medicines. 
  • For ringworm that does not respond to creams, an oral anti-fungal medicine such as griseofulvin (250-500 mg twice a day for 2-4 weeks), itraconazole 200 mg once a day for one week), or terbinafine (250 mg once a day for 4 weeks) needs to be used. 
  • Treatment is usually successful within 4 weeks.

  • General measures used to prevent fungal infections are important.  Keep the skin dry.  Moist skin encourages fungal infections.
  • Dry all areas of the skin after a bath or after heavy sweating.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Use talcum or other drying powders to keep dry the areas that perspire.
  • People using steroid creams, taking steroid pills, or those with diabetes have a higher chance of developing fungal infections and need to be especially careful. 

  • Nummular eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Secondary syphilis
  • Pityriasis Rosea
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Erythema Multiforme
  • Granuloma annulare
  • Seborrheic dermatitis


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