What is athlete's foot and ringworm (Tinea)?
Tinea is the medical name for a group of related skin infections, including athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm. Ringworm, which isn't a worm at all, is a common, contagious fungal infection of the skin. It can affect not only the skin, but also the nails and scalp. Tinea is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that live on the dead tissues of the skin, hair, and nails. Contact with infected persons, animals, or infected surfaces may cause tinea to spread. Risk for tinea is increased with crowded living conditions, daycare centers or schools; contact with infected persons or animals; weak immune system due to illness or drugs; and warm, humid climates.
What are the symptoms of athlete's foot and ringworm (Tinea)?
The most common symptoms of athlete's foot are cracking, flaking,
and peeling skin between the toes. The affected area is usually red and itchy. Patients may
experience burning or stinging, and there may be blisters, oozing, or crusting in the affected
area. In addition to the toes, the symptoms can also occur on the heels, palms, and between the
fingers. Nails may become discolored, thick or crumbly if the fungus spreads to the
Symptoms of ringworm include itchy, red, raised, scaly patches on the skin that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply-defined edges and may be more red around the edges with normal skin tone in the center. This may create the appearance of a ring.
What is the treatment for athlete's foot and ringworm (Tinea)?
While total prevention of tinea may be impossible, it is
important to have good personal hygiene to reduce risk. Wash hands frequently and always bathe
after contact sports, making sure to dry completely and use a clean towel. Wear flip flops in
public showers and wash sports clothing regularly. Do not share towels or headgear (hats,
helmets, combs, brushes).
If symptoms persist, visit Healthcare Clinic. We can determine the appropriate course of treatment to relieve your athlete's foot or ringworm. Topical application of antifungal or drying powders, lotions, or creams may be effective in treating tinea in many patients.
This treatment is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.
Walk in or schedule an appointment at the Healthcare Clinic nearest you.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
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