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.
- Dermatophytes (Ringworm or Tinea) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Fungus Infections: Tinea (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)
- Ringworm (Including Athlete's Foot and Jock Itch) (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)
- Tinea Infections (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- Fungal Tests (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
Health Check Tools
- Jock Itch (DSHI Systems)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tinea (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- American Academy of Dermatology
- Find a Dermatologist (American Academy of Dermatology)
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Kerion (Logical Images)
- Ringworm (Nemours Foundation)
- Scalp Ringworm (Tinea Capitis) (Logical Images)
- Tinea Infections (Ringworm, Athlete's Foot, Jock Itch) (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish