Pet clinic

Fungal Infection of Skit[Tinea]


Tinea is a fungus that can grow on your skin, hair, or nails. Fungi live everywhere, but humans and fungi usually co-exist in harmony. Only a few fungi, known as dermatophytes, cause skin problems. These fungi can only live on the outer superficial layer of skin and thrive in warm, moist environments. Common tinea infections include tinea corporis (of the body), tinea capitis (of the scalp), tinea barbae (of the beard), tinea cruris (of the groin), tinea pedis (of the foot), and onychomycosis (infection of the nail).


Tinea is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person, object, or animal. Some kinds of fungi live on damp surfaces, like the floors in public showers or locker rooms. You can even catch a fungal infection from your pets; this infection often looks like a patch of skin where fur is missing.


Often, your health care provider can diagnose a fungal infection simply by its appearance. If the diagnosis is unclear, he or she may take a superficial skin scraping to examine under the microscope. On rare occasions, a skin, hair, or nail sample will be sent to the lab to see if fungus will grow in a special medium. This process takes a while because fungus grows slowly.


Tinea infections of the skin usually clear in a few weeks with an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal cream used twice daily. It is important to continue treatment for 7-10 days after symptoms disappear to ensure a complete cure. Return to your health care provider if you are not experiencing gradual improvement while using your medication and if any signs or symptoms of infection occur (such as swelling, increased redness, pain, fever, and drainage). Antifungal medications taken by mouth may be recommended for extensive cases of tinea or for infections that do not respond to antifungal creams. Because antifungal creams do not penetrate hair or nails well, oral medications are usually required for treatment of tinea infections of the scalp, beard, or nail.