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Skin Fungus

Introduction

Skin fungus, medically termed “tinea corporis” is an infection of the skin with the fungus Trichophyton anywhere on the body surface.

The lesions look like ringworm, where the center clears, but the outside of a ring gets bigger and grows further away from the center with grotesque looking shapes. It might itch a bit. It can be mixed up with other skin diseases. Here is a ring worm picture.

Tinea corporis (ringworm)

Tinea corporis (ringworm)

Treatment of skin fungus (tinea corporis)

Usually topical therapy with creams or lotions twice per day will resolve the rash within 1 to 2 weeks. Here are some of the typical topical preparations used.

Topical antifungal treatments for ringworm

Pharmaceutical name: Brand name:
ciclopirox Loprox cream or lotion
clotrimazole Canesten cream or solution
ketoconazole Nizoral cream or shampoo
terbinafine Lamisil cream or spray

 

For more invasive ringworm of the body or if Trichophyton rubrum, a more resistant fungus is the cause, a course of of oral antifungal medication is needed such as itraconazole (brand name: Sporanox) 200 mg once daily for 1 month.

Alternatively, terbinafine (brand name: Lamisil) 250 mg once per day for 2 to 4 weeks can be given. Liver and kidney toxicity has to be monitored in this case. More difficult cases of skin fungus may have to be referred to a skin specialist (dermatologist).

 

References:

1.The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 265.

2.James Chin et al., Editors: Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 17th edition, 2000, American Public Health Association

3.The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 112.

4. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 115.

5. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 113.

Last modified: August 27, 2014

Disclaimer
This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.