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Alternative namesFungal infection - body; Infection - fungal - body; Tinea of the body; Tinea circinata; Ringworm - body
DefinitionTinea corporis is an infection of the body surface by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The body normally hosts a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, mold-like fungi (dermatophytes), and yeast-like fungi (such as Candida). Some of these are useful to the body. Others may multiply rapidly and cause symptoms.
Tinea corporis (often called ringworm of the body) is a common skin disorder, especially among children, but it may occur in people of all ages. It is caused by mold-like fungi (dermatophytes). See also tinea capitis (involving the scalp), tinea cruris (jock itch), and tinea pedis (athlete's foot).
Signs and tests
The diagnosis is primarily based on the appearance of the skin. If tests are used, they may include the following:
TreatmentKeep the skin clean and dry. Topical (applied to the skin) over-the-counter antifungal creams, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar ingredients, are often effective in controlling ringworm.
Severe or chronic infection may require further treatment by the health care provider. Oral antifungal medications may be given. Stronger, prescription topical antifungal medications, such as ketoconazole may be needed. Antibiotics may be needed to treat secondary bacterial infections. Infected pets should be treated.
Expectations (prognosis)Ringworm usually responds to topical treatment within four weeks. Severe or resistant cases usually respond promptly to oral antifungal therapy.
Calling your health care providerCall for an appointment with your health care provider if ringworm does not improve with self-care.
Good general hygiene helps prevent ringworm infections. Avoid contact with infected pets as much as possible.
Clothing and household items, such as combs and bathroom surfaces, should be cleaned and dried thoroughly before reuse or use by another person to prevent the spread of the infection. Wash the hands thoroughly after contact with any fungal infection, including contact to treat the infection.
Update Date: 1/11/2003Glen H. Crawford, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT