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Body Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

By

Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Sep 2021| Content last modified Sep 2021
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Body ringworm is a dermatophyte (fungal) infection of the face, trunk, arms, and legs.

  • Symptoms of tinea corporis include pink-to-red, round patches on the skin that sometimes itch.

  • Doctors examine the affected area and sometimes view a skin scraping under a microscope to make the diagnosis.

  • Treatment includes antifungal drugs applied directly to the affected areas or sometimes taken by mouth.

The infection generally causes pink-to-red, round patches with raised scaly borders that tend to be clear in the center. Sometimes the rash is itchy. Tinea corporis can develop anywhere on the skin and can spread rapidly to other parts of the body or to other people with whom there is close bodily contact.

Examples of Body Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Diagnosis of Body Ringworm

  • A doctor's examination

  • Sometimes examination of a skin scraping

Doctors base the diagnosis of tinea corporis on an examination of the skin.

Treatment of Body Ringworm

  • Antifungal drugs applied to the skin or taken by mouth

Tinea corporis is treated with imidazole, ciclopirox, naftifine, or terbinafine in cream, lotion, or gel that is applied directly to the affected area (topical) twice a day and continued for 7 to 10 days after the rash completely disappears, which usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks. If the cream is discontinued too soon, the infection may not be eradicated, and the rash will return. Several days may pass before antifungal creams, lotions, or gels reduce symptoms. (See also table Some Antifungal Drugs Applied to the Skin (Topical Drugs) Some Antifungal Drugs Applied to the Skin (Topical Drugs) Fungi usually make their homes in moist areas of the body where skin surfaces meet: between the toes, in the genital area, and under the breasts. Common fungal skin infections are caused by... read more .)

Infections that are difficult to treat and relatively widespread can occur in people infected with Trichophyton rubrum and in people with debilitating diseases. For such people, the most effective therapy is an antifungal drug, such as itraconazole or terbinafine, taken by mouth for 2 to 3 weeks.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
SPORANOX
LAMISIL
LOPROX, PENLAC
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Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common chronic disease affecting 1 to 5% of the population worldwide. It causes distinctive raised, red patches with silvery scales. A border between the patch and normal skin is known as “psoriatic plaque.”  Which of the following is the reason these patches of plaque form?
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