What is Tinea Corporis?

Tinea Corporis is a fungal infection caused superficially on the skin. It affects most parts of the body except the palms and soles of the feet. It has the  appearance of circular ring-shaped lesions on the infected parts

This infection is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes. Which live on a protein called keratin found in human skin, nails and hair. Generally spreads through person-to-person contact. It is observed in people living in humid places, people with weak immune systems etc. Medication given is generally cream or powder. Maintaining proper hygiene may prevent infection. You can find out more about this disease in the article below.

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A skin infection that is caused by a fungus is referred to as Tinea of the body or Tinea Corporis. Tinea is a common misnomer as the infection has nothing to do with worms themselves. Its name actually comes from the small, ring-shaped, or circle shared rash that appears on one’s body as a result of an infection. In the Tinea of the body, rashes develop in varying regions of the skin. These rashes develop in all areas except for the groin, palms of the hand, soles of the feet, and groin.

This condition is common as it is highly contagious. Yet, it is not serious. Keep reading to learn more about this condition. 

Tinea

Tinea

Tinea Corporis Causes

A group of fungi known as dermatophytes results in Tinea. Dermatophytes live off of a protein tissue found in human skin, nails, and hair known as keratin. In Tinea Corporis or Tinea of the body, the fungus infects the skin by attacking the keratin tissues. Other related Tinea infections have different names including

  • athletes foot or tinea pedis
  • jock itch or tinea cruris
  • Tinea of the scalp or tinea capitis

Tinea Corporis Symptoms

  • Tinea of the body shows its symptoms usually around four to ten days after contact with the fungus is made.
  • The Tinea of the body looks like circular-shaped rashes with edges that are raised slightly. The skin that is in the middle of these ring-shaped rashes tends to appear healthy.
  • Usually, the rashes that come with the Tinea of the body are itchy.
  • These will likely spread over the course of the infection.
  • A more severe infection’s symptoms include rings that not only multiply but also merge together.
  • In rare cases, a person may develop pus-filled sores and blisters near the rings.

Tinea Corporis in Women

Tinea Corporis often afflicts women of childbearing age who come into contact with children that are infected. A kind of tinea infection known as Majocchi’s granuloma can afflict women who shave their legs in particular.  Female athletes are also at risk of developing such an infection, especially if they are involved in any kind of contact sports. The infection can be seen on one’s arms, neck, legs, and the trunk of the body. In women with weak immune systems, tinea infections result in itching and burning sensations.

Tinea Corporis in Men

In men, tinea corporis does not vary much in comparison to women. Men tend to sweat more than women and may hence be more at risk of developing these infections, especially if they are in a humid climate. Male athletes or those men who partake in contact sports like wrestling are more at risk of developing the infection. Additionally, pet shop owners, farmers, or cattle rearers who are often in contact with animals are also at higher risk of developing tinea infection.

Tinea Corporis in Babies

Tinea corporis can also occur in babies. In fact, it is common in children as they are often touching unhygienic objects, and coming into contact with other children who can pass the infection. One of the main culprits for tinea in children is the soil they touch when they play together. Children that are malnourished or have a weakened immune system are at higher risk of developing Tinea on their body.

How is Tinea Corporis Diagnosed?

Due to its symptoms being scaly patches on the skin surface, Tinea is easily diagnosable. Doctors and physicians use a physical examination to diagnose Tinea corporis. Unlike other illnesses, most people usually just require a quick physical exam with their doctor before they are informed of whether or not they have Tinea on their body. In a few rare cases, the doctor of physician will take a skin graft to observe it under a microscope.

How does tinea corporis spread?

Tinea infection can spread through means that are direct as well as indirect. These include the following:

1. Person to person contact:

This occurs through contact that is considered direct with the skin of the person that is infected with tinea corporis.

2. Animal/pet to a person:

Tinea Corporis can spread across species as it is a fungal infection. In case one has direct contact with a pet or animal that is infected with it, they are likely to develop an infection themselves. A dog or a cat is likely to spread the infection to people often as these domesticated animals are likely to be petted more often. However, many other animals like horses, goats, ferrets, and pigs can also spread the Tinea to people.

3. Inanimate item to a person:

One can also get the Tinea of the body by touching objects that an infected organism has touched. This is indirect contact with the infected body. For instance, the begging, hair, or clothing of the infected person, as well as shower stalls and floors can spread the infection.

4. Soil to a person:

In a few rare cases, the Tinea of the body can be spread through contact with soil that is infected. However, keep in mind that the contact with the soil has to be for an extended amount of time.

Tinea Corporis Risk Factors

It is much more likely for children to develop Tinea of the body as compared to adults. However, nearly everybody is at some risk for being infected with this fungal infection. Of the global population, it is estimated that a total of 10% to 20% of people are likely to be infected with tinea corporis at some point in their lives. Are there certain factors that can expose one to developing this infection more than others? Yes. Some risk factors for tinea include:

  • residing in humid or damp environments
  • sweating excessively
  • taking part in contact sports
  • Wearing skin-hugging or tight clothing often
  • having a compromised or weak immune system
  • sharing towels, bedding, clothing with others

Tinea Corporis Treatment

Tinea Corporis treatment is quite straightforward with your physician prescribing over-the-counter medication to you. Usually, these over-the-counter medications are enough to treat the infection completely. Medications can be in the form of an ointment, cream, or powder. When applied to the affected area directly, they make a significant difference almost overnight. Medications include:

  • miconazole (Micatin)
  • clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF)
  • tolnaftate (Tinactin)
  • terbinafine (Lamisil)

Ensure you take your doctor’s advice when treating tinea corporis instead of self-prescribing these drugs. If your Tinea condition does not respond to treatment, is widespread or severe, your doctor might prescribe a stronger topical medication, or a fungicidal that you can consume orally. A commonly prescribed oral treatment for fungal infections is griseofulvin.

Tinea Corporis Home Remedies

Treating tinea through home remedies should be done in accordance with any medication prescribed to you by your doctor. The following home remedies have been shown to work to aid in recovering from a tinea infection.

1. Soap and water:

Regularly cleaning one’s body, especially infected areas with soap and water can aid in killing the pathogen spreading the infection.

2. Apple cider vinegar:

An antibacterial - apple cider vinegar  - can be used topically on areas where one can see their infection, but make sure you dilute it (10 parts water: 1 part apple cider vinegar) before you apply it to your skin.

3. Essential oils:

 Tea tree oil, lemongrass oil, and oregano oil are all essential oils that can be applied to the skin since they possess anti-bacterial properties. Never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Ensure you are not allergic to them by carrying out a patch test and apply a diluted amount to the infected area.

4. Aloe Vera:

To soothe the itchiness, inflammation, or discomfort, one can use the gel of an aloe vera plant mixed with water or honey. Honey is anti-bacterial and aloe vera will serve to reduce the irritation caused by the Tinea sores on one’s skin.

Tinea Corporis Prevention

The following precautions are essential if one wishes to avoid catching a tinea infection.

  • Make sure to avoid sharing hairbrushes, towels, hats, and clothing with someone who has the infection.
  • Take your pet to see a vet if you suspect a Tinea infection.
  • If you have tinea corporis, avoid scratching the infected areas of your skin, and be sure to maintain good personal hygiene around others.
  • After a shower, make sure to dry your skin well — especially in areas where skin touches skin such as between the toes, in the groin, and armpits.

The Bottom Line

Practicing proper hygiene is key when it comes to preventing oneself from developing a Tinea infection of the body. Whatever your medical condition, it is always wise to be financially prepared with comprehensive health coverage. Health insurance can offer the necessary protection against the treatment costs if one happens to get infected with tinea corporis. Ensure you carefully browse all your options before selecting a health insurance policy.

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