Tinea corporis

Tinea corporis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Alternative Names: Tinea circinata, ringworm of body.

Tinea corporis is a common infection caused by various dermatophytes (species of Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton) a type of fungus. Dermatophytes can also cause infections of the feet (athlete's foot) or groin (jock itch). These infections are different, because of the unique characteristics of the skin in the infected areas. Tinea corporis is not caused by a worm. The following raise your risk for tinea corporis:

    Long-term wetness of the skin (such as from sweating).

  • Minor skin and nail injuries.

  • Poor hygiene.

Tinea corporis is most common in young children, but it can occur in any age group.

The fungus spreads from person to person or from animals (pets) — if from a pet, the animal may have patches of fur loss. The infection may also be spread by objects containing infected scales, such as clothing.

Tinea corporis can also appear on the scalp, where it is called “tinea capitis.”


The rash starts as tiny red pimples. The pimples spread out and form a round or oval area. The edges of the area are red, raised, or scaly. The rash usually appears on only a few places on the skin, but it may occur anywhere on the body. The rash may itch. Sometimes there are blisters, pimples, or lots of red bumps instead of scales, but they still usually occur in a circular pattern. Sometimes there is no central clearing, so the ring-shaped pattern does not occur.


The doctor will diagnose ringworm by looking at the rash. The doctor may also scrape a few scalesfrom the infected area and send it to the lab for examination under a microscope.

In some cases, the following tests may be done:

    KOH (potassium hydroxide) test.

  • Skin lesion biopsy.


Tinea corporis is usually treated with a topical (placed on the skin) antifungal cream or ointment. The doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antifungal medication, such as Monistat or Lotrimin, or may recommend creams, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar ingredients, are often effective in controlling tinea corporis. Apply the topical medication on the rash daily for about 3 weeks, depending on how severe it is.

If the infection is severe or does not improve with topical treatments, your doctor may recommend an oral antifungal medication.

Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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