Sports Medicine: Tinea Rashes
What are tinea rashes?
Tinea is the fungus that causes ringworm, jock-itch and athlete’s foot.
- Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp.
- Tinea corporis is a fungal infection of the body (ringworm).
- Tinea unguium is a fungal infection of the nails.
- Tinea cruris is a fungal infection of the groin (jock-itch).
- Tinea pedis is a fungal infection of the foot (athlete’s foot).
What causes tinea rashes?
Tinea fungus can be spread by contact with another person that has the fungus. Some forms of tinea can live on damp surfaces like the ones in communal showers and locker rooms. Pets can also carry tinea infections.
What are the symptoms of tinea rashes?
- The symptoms of tinea differ depending on its location on the body.
- Tinea capitis appears as small grey circles that may cause bald spots on the scalp.
- Tinea corporis appears as reddish, ring-like areas that may be crusty or scaly. Excessive sweating and friction makes this condition worse.
- Tinea unguium is often seen in swimmers or athletes that have chronic athletes foot. When infected, the nail becomes yellow, thick and brittle.
- Tinea cruris causes itching in the groin area. It can be red, raised and rash like.
- Tinea pedis is red and rash like and commonly found between the toes. The area may have small blisters and become dry and cracked.
How are tinea rashes diagnosed?
A thorough exam by a physician will be used to diagnose a tinea rash. In cases of tinea unguium, a sample may be needed to rule out other types of infection.
What is the treatment for tinea rashes?
In mild cases, over-the-counter anti-fungal creams may be used to treat tinea rashes. In moderate-to-severe cases, prescription anti-fungal creams or oral anti-fungal medications may be needed. Tinea capitis can only be treated by oral medications.
What is the long-term outlook for tinea rashes?
Early recognition and treatment are important to quickly eliminate a tinea rash. With proper treatment and proper hygiene, further fungal infections can be prevented.