Ringworm (tinea corporis)

Skin | Dermatology | Ringworm (tinea corporis) (Disease)


Tinea corporis (also known as ringworm, tinea circinata, and tinea glabrosa) is a superficial fungal infection (dermatophytosis) of the arms and legs, especially on glabrous skin, however it may occur on any part of the body.

Causes and Risk factors

Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas. The following raise your risk for a fungal infection: long-term wetness of the skin (such as from sweating), minor skin and nail injuries, poor hygiene.

The rash begins as a small area of red, raised spots and pimples. The rash slowly becomes ring-shaped, with a red-colored, raised border and a clearer center. The border may look scaly. The rash may occur on the arms, legs, face, or other exposed body areas.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of tinea corporis is confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings.

In general ringworm responds well to topical treatment. Topical antifungals are applied to the lesion twice a day for at least 3 weeks. The lesion usually resolves within 2 weeks, but therapy should be continued for another week to ensure the fungus is completely eradicated. The most commonly used antifungal creams are clotrimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, terbinafine, tolnaftate, and butenafine. If there are several ringworm lesions, the lesions are extensive, complications such as secondary infection exist, or the patient is immunocompromised, oral antifungal medications can be used. ...