Tinea is a skin infection caused by a dermatophyte (ringworm) fungus. This can affect most parts of the body and spread within your body, a groin infection could have originated on your feet, or scalp.
Whilst the condition can appear in women, several types are more prevalent in males. Children and older adults can suffer from tinea, although a significant percentage of cases occur in adolescents, or younger adults.
There is a common cause but tinea infections tend to be given specific names, depending where the infection is:
- Tinea barbae – The beard/moustache area.
- Tinea capitis – On your head and scalp.
- Tinea corporis – The core body areas.
- Tinea cruris – The groin (jock itch).
- Tinea faciei – Affecting facial skin.
- Tinea manuum – On one, or both hands.
- Tinea pedis – The feet (athlete’s foot).
- Tinea unguium – Toenails, or fingernails.
A few mould infections of similar appearance can be called tinea, such as tinea nigra, which darkens the skin on your palms or soles. All tinea conditions can be unpleasant, yet are generally curable once identified.
Diagnosis & Treatment
There are common features of tinea, itchiness, occasionally blistering, often a red, flaky rash. This can form a circle, perhaps with normal looking skin in the middle, the reason for the term “ringworm”, even though there are no worms involved.
Confusion with other bacterial, or yeast infections is understandable, although an experienced dermatologist will normally recognise the condition.
Modern forms of microscopy can assist in an examination, your consultant may take a small sample, to confirm which fungus is causing the infection. Checking other areas of your body can make sense, along with discussing your medical history and lifestyle.
In most cases treatment can begin promptly, to eradicate the condition. Topical, or oral antifungal medication to suit the specific infection is the most common treatment, other options such as light therapy may be useful.
Whilst over the counter products could help in some cases, they can fail, or possibly worsen the issue. Targeted medication is likely to be more effective.
Care At Our Clinic
Tinea infections tend to be constantly irritating and can bring embarrassment, or worsening symptoms. We understand the need to seek a solution and can arrange a prompt consultation at our London clinic.
Diagnosis and treatment are naturally part of this, along with a longer term view. Are external agents playing a part, or stressful situations, can changes to personal hygiene routines bring benefits.
Tinea treatment is a natural part of male dermatology and should be effective, alongside preventing recurrence. If we can assist, by all means get in touch with our team for personal advice, or to arrange an appointment.