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Diseases » Tinea » Wikipedia
 

Tinea in Wikipedia

Note:Wikipedia is a user-contributed encyclopedia and may not have been reviewed by professional editors (See full Wikipedia disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ringworm". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 15:52:29 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworm)

Introduction

Ringworm, also known as Tinea, is a contagious (excluding tinea versicolor[1]) fungal infection of the skin. Contrary to its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm.

Ringworm is very common, especially among children, and may be spread by skin-to-skin contact, as well as via contact with contaminated items such as hairbrushes. Ringworm spreads readily, as those infected are contagious even before they show symptoms of the disease. Humans can contract ringworm from animals; cats and dogs are often carriers. It should be noted that any contact sports such as wrestling have a risk of contracting the fungal infection through skin-to-skin contact.

Tinea capitis

Types

A number of species of fungi cause ringworm. Dermatophytes of the genera Trichophyton and Microsporum are the most common causative agents. These fungi attack various parts of the body and lead to the following conditions:

Symptoms and diagnosis

The best known sign of ringworm is the appearance of one or more red raised itchy patches with defined edges, not unlike the herald rash of Pityriasis rosea. These patches are often lighter in the center, taking on the appearance of a ring. If the infected area involves the scalp or beard area, then bald patches may become evident. The affected area may become itchy for periods of time. If the nails are affected, they may thicken, discolor, and finally crumble and fall off.

Doctors can diagnose ringworm on sight, or they may take a skin scraping. This is examined under a microscope, or put on an agar plate in a microbiology laboratory and allowed to grow. Some of the fungi fluoresce under a black light examination.

Treatment

Topical antifungal drugs containing miconazole and clotrimazole, available by prescription or over the counter, are used to clear up the infection. According to Living Well on a Shoestring by the editors of Yankee Magazine, a folk remedy for ringworm is cider vinegarwater. Another alternative is tea tree oil. Fungal infections may take a while to clear up.

Lamisil AT cream (Terbinafine) is highly effective for Tinea Corporis. It treats itching, burning, cracking, and scaling that accompany this condition. It cures most ringworm. Do not use it for the nails or scalp. Apply it once a day (morning or night) for one week. It should heal up by then or a little after.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] URI last accessed 11 May 2006.
 

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