There are many different fungal skin infections, and Tinea Corporis is one of them. Tinea Corporis is more commonly known as "ringworm". It is not actually caused by worms, but refers to the circular shape of the lesions it causes.
Cause of Tinea Corporis
Tinea corporis is caused by fungi called Epidermophyton, Microsporum and Trichophyton. It is more prone to skin that is moist, and can be passed from one affected person to another or by animals. Ringworm is very common in animals and can be passed to the human by simply petting an animal. It can also be spread by coming in contact with the bedding, hair combs and other personal care products that have been used by the affected person.
People who are at a greater risk of developing this are people who work with animals on a daily basis, live in humid weather conditions, participate in close contact sports, or have a weakened immune system. It starts with one or more lesions, slowly expanding into round or oval patches of red, scaly skin (usually on exposed areas of the skin). There is a lot of itching associated with it.
Tinea Corporis causes lesions that are pink, red, or tan and round or oval. They are covered by fine scales. The outer edge of the lesion is slightly raised, then near the center it gradually clears up and has a more normal appearance. Without treatment, it is possible for the infection to become chronic and widespread with extension to the scalp, hair and even nails.
To determine if you have tinea corporis, the doctor will scrape the scales with a fine razor blade. Then the scrapings are sent to the laboratory and placed in a heated material called hot potassium hydroxide. Then, it is determined if it is tinea corporis or something else.
Tinea Corporis is usually treated easily with anti-fungal creams. These need to be prescribed by a doctor and are used up to three times a day for up to three weeks. For the more severe cases, an oral medication may be needed to get rid of the infection. Oral medications can relieve any symptoms within seven days of beginning treatment.
The best way to prevent developing this fungal infection is to wash your hands with an antibacterial soap and warm water after touching any animal, soil or plants. You should also avoid contact with any person who is infected with it. If you do come in contact with an affected person, make sure to wash your hands or any body part that touched the infection site. You can also prevent developing the infection by practicing good hygiene if you are involved in any close contact sporting event and also by wearing loose fitting clothes which allow the skin to breathe.
If you think you have developed tinea corporis, see your doctor to determine the exact diagnosis. He will help determine the best treatment.