Tinea Information - A Resource
Tinea is a superficial fungal infection of the skin. It is also known as ringworm. There are various forms of tinea and all forms are named after their location on the body. Two common types:
- Tinea unguium starts at the tip of one or more nails
- Tinea pedis affects the feet and usually starts in the webbing of the toes. Also known as Athletes Foot.
Tinea results from fungi known as dermatophytes invading the dead cell component of skin, nails and hair.
The tinea will display differently
The clinical manifestations will vary according to the location of the tinea and the severity of the hosts reaction. Typically tinea appears as small, inflamed lesions that are either dry and scaly or moist and crusty. As the lesions enlarge their centre heels leaving the classical ring shaped appearance. Extreme itching and discomfort is also associated with most instances of tinea.
Most tinea can be effectively treated using over the counter anti fungal creams however some more severe cases may require treatment with oral antifungals. Tinea capitis and tinea unguium are also treated with oral antifungals as topical treatments do not penetrate the hair follicles or the nail.
Despite the cure rate being very high with effective treatment about 20% of all those infected will develop a chronic condition. Remissions and exacerbations are also common as the fungi can lie dormant of the skin for months or years.