Do you suffer from a red, scaly, itchy rash?
Has it been present off and on and been treated with multiple creams?
Is it configured in a circle or have a well-defined border?
If so, it is possible that there is a fungus among us!
Also known as ringworm, tinea infections can be present anywhere on the body, including the scalp, hands, feet, and nails.
It is not uncommon to have acquired the fungus from a pet, wet floor at a community gym, or another infected person.
Because fungus can occur anywhere on the body, it manifests differently depending on the location.
For example, the trunk and extremities, which is called tinea corporis, can have a well-defined or circular red, flaky rash that is itchy. The fingernails and toenails, however, are usually thickened and yellow and this condition is known as onychomycosis.
Tinea pedis, which is a fungal infection of the feet, can also have scaling to them, particularly on the soles of the feet. This is called a moccasin distribution. They may also have a macerated look to them in the toe webs.
Rashes are a common skin condition and something that can be caused by thousands of irritants.
It is frequent that a patient comes in complaining of a rash that will not go away. They are frustrated as they have treated the rash with various topical preparations and just want it to resolve. Because it can be itchy, it keeps them up at night and since it is red, people do stare at it which causes embarrassment.
Know you are not alone and that many patients seek medical advice regarding rashes.
Whether it is an individual that has a visible tinea infection on their arms or a person who has yellowing nails, these manifestations can be treated as they may cause shame and anxiety for the patient.
It is common that the patient will wear closed-toed shoes or paint their nails to hide the discoloration. Also, long-sleeved shirts and pants may be worn to hide the body rash.
Know that we share your goal in treating the fungus and clearing up your skin.
Just like the different locations on the body and how clinically they are individualized, so is the treatment.
For tinea corporis, depending on the extent of involvement, topical creams will be used. If it is extensive, then oral antifungals may be needed, but know lab work will need to checked prior and also during treatment.
Tinea pedis is also treated with a topical antifungal over the course of about one month.
Onychomycosis can be trickier to treat as it takes longer for nails to grow out and usually requires a toenail clipping to be sent off prior to the patient being placed on an oral antifungal.
Also, if there is a question on the diagnosis of tinea, all the providers at Advanced Dermatology are trained in microscopy. During the visit, a sample of scaling from the rash will be scraped off and analyzed during the patient’s visit.
Aside from treating fungal infections, it is important to be aware of prevention.
Know that fungus thrives in moist, wet areas like gyms and pools. Therefore, make sure to always wear shoes in a public place. Keep feet clean and dry and avoid sharing personal products like towels, sweatbands, socks, and brushes. Wash hands after touching a stray animal as they may be infected with a fungus too.
Although tinea is not a threatening rash, you will feel relieved when the rash resolves and know that the fungus has been evicted.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How do you tell if the rash is indeed fungal?
Because our providers know clinically what fungus looks like, the diagnosis is often made clinically. However, a scraping can easily and painlessly be taken and analyzed under the microscope for diagnosis.
Is ringworm, tinea, caused by a worm?
Although patients refer to fungal infection as ringworm, it is not caused by a worm. It is caused by a fungus that is contracted onto the skin.