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Tinea Infections

Also called: Ringworm 
 
 

Tinea is the name of a group of diseases caused by a fungus. Types of tinea include ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch. These infections are usually not serious, but they can be uncomfortable. You can get them by touching an infected person, from damp surfaces such as shower floors, or even from a pet.

Symptoms depend on the affected area of the body:

  • Ringworm is a red skin rash that forms a ring around normal-looking skin. A worm doesn't cause it.
  • Scalp ringworm causes itchy, red patches on your head. It can leave bald spots. It usually affects children.
  • Athlete's foot causes itching, burning and cracked skin between your toes.
  • Jock itch causes an itchy, burning rash in your groin area.

Over-the-counter creams and powders will get rid of many tinea infections, particularly athlete's foot and jock itch. Other cases require prescription medicine.

 

 

 
 
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Illustration of tinea infections

National Institutes of Health

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.