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Tinea Corporis (Body Ringworm)

By

Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Last full review/revision Feb 2020| Content last modified Feb 2020
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Tinea corporis is a dermatophyte infection of the face, trunk, and extremities. Diagnosis is by clinical appearance and by examination of skin scrapings on potassium hydroxide wet mount. Treatment involves topical or oral antifungals.

Tinea corporis is a dermatophytosis that causes pink-to-red annular (O-shaped) patches and plaques with raised scaly borders that expand peripherally and tend to clear centrally. A rare variant form appears as nummular (circle- or round-shaped) scaling patches studded with small papules or pustules that have no central clearing. Common causes are Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, and Microsporum canis.

Manifestations of Tinea Corporis

Diagnosis

  • Clinical evaluation

  • Potassium hydroxide wet mount

Differential diagnosis of tinea corporis includes

Treatment

  • Topical or oral antifungals

Treatment of mild-to-moderate lesions is an imidazole, ciclopirox, naftifine, or terbinafine in cream, lotion, or gel. The drug should be rubbed in 2 times a day continuing at least 7 to 10 days after lesions disappear, typically at about 2 to 3 weeks.

Extensive and resistant lesions occur in patients infected with T. rubrum and in people with debilitating systemic diseases. For such cases, the most effective therapy is oral itraconazole 200 mg once a day or terbinafine 250 mg once a day for 2 to 3 weeks.

Key Points

  • Tinea corporis typically causes pink-to-red annular (O-shaped) patches and plaques with raised scaly borders that expand peripherally and tend to clear centrally.

  • Diagnose based on appearance and potassium hydroxide wet mount.

  • If mild-to-moderate, treat using an imidazole, ciclopirox, naftifine, or terbinafine cream, lotion, or gel applied 2 times a day for at least 7 to 10 days after lesions disappear.

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Also of Interest

SOCIAL MEDIA

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