Tinea corporis: symptoms and treatment of ringworm

Tinea corporis: symptoms and treatment of ringworm

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There tinea corporis it is a skin infection caused by a fungus. The name "ringworm", with which it is generally distinguished, is actually an improper term, given that the infection has nothing to do with worms.

Its name derives rather from the small rash in the shape of a ring or circle that appears on the body due to the infection. In ringworm of the body, rashes appear on skin regions with the exception of the scalp, groin, palms and soles of the feet.

The condition is common and highly contagious, but it's not serious. Let's find out more!

Causes of tinea corporis

A group of mushrooms called dermatophytes forms the cause of ringworm. Dermatophytes live on a substance called keratin, a tissue found in many parts of a person's body (such as nails, skin, and hair) and can sometimes infect the skin.

Depending on the parts of the body that are affected, and the way in which the fungus acts, the infections can be declined as tinea pedis, commonly called athlete's foot, or tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm.

Symptoms of tinea corporis

THE symptoms of tinea corporis body usually begin about 4-10 days after contact with the fungus.

Ringworm of the body has the appearance of a ring-shaped, circular rash with slightly raised edges. The skin in the center of these ring-shaped eruptions appears “healthy”, while the part on the edges is altered. Usually, the rashes are itchy, and tend to spread during the infection.

The symptoms of a more serious infection therefore include rings that multiply and end up merging together. In some cases, pus-filled blisters and sores may develop near the rings.

How tinea corporis spreads

A ringworm infection can be spread in many direct and indirect ways, including:

  • from person to person: through direct contact with the skin of a person infected with ringworm,
  • per animal per person: this occurs when there is direct contact with an infected animal. Both dogs and cats can spread the infection to people. Ferrets, horses, rabbits, goats and pigs can also spread ringworm to people,
  • from object to personIt is possible to contract ringworm through indirect contact with objects, including the hair of an infected person, bedding, clothing, shower stalls and floors,
  • from the land per person: although rarely, a ringworm infection can be spread through contact with highly infected soil for a long period of time.

Who is at risk of tinea corporis infection

Children are the people more prone to ringworm infection in the body than adults. However, everyone can become infected with this fungus, so much so that - it is estimated - about 10 to 20 percent of people will contract this problem at least once in their life.

There are also some risk factors that can increase the likelihood of contracting tinea corporis, such as:

  • stay in humid areas,
  • excessive sweating,
  • practice of contact sports,
  • wearing tight clothes,
  • have a weak immune system,
  • sharing clothes, bedding or towels with other people.

Read also: Dry skin, remedies against the most dehydrated skin

How is tinea corporis diagnosed

If your doctor suspects you may have ringworm, they will examine your skin and may possibly undergo some tests to rule out other skin conditions not caused by fungi, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. Usually a simple skin exam will be enough to arrive at the diagnosis.

The doctor may also look at the affected skin areas under a microscope to look for fungi. A sample can be sent to a laboratory for confirmation. The laboratory can perform a culture test to see if it is indeed a fungus.

How tinea corporis is treated

Generally, i over-the-counter topical fungicidal medications they are sufficient to treat the infection. The drug can take the form of powder, ointment or cream, and is applied directly to the affected skin areas. Among the main drugs that can be used are clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine, tolfaftate.

If the body's ringworm is widespread, severe, or unresponsive to the above medications, your doctor may prescribe a stronger topical medication or fungicide that you take by mouth.


Remember that tinea corporis infections are not serious and will rarely, if ever, spread below the surface of the skin. However, people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV or AIDS, may find it difficult to get rid of the infection.

As regards prevention, we point out how ringworm of the body can be prevented by avoiding contact with someone who has the infection (both indirect contact and direct contact). You can therefore take some precautions such as avoiding sharing towels, hats, hairbrushes, and clothes with someone who has the infection, taking your pet to see a vet if a ringworm infection is suspected, and again - if you have body ringworm - make sure you maintain good personal hygiene, avoiding scratching the affected areas of your skin.

After showering, always dry the skin thoroughly, especially between the toes and where the skin may have folds, such as in the groin and armpit area.

For more information, we naturally invite you to contact your referring doctor or dermatologist.


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