Tinea refers to a group of fungal infections which can affect the skin, hair, and nails. The specific name of the infection depends on the affected area of the body.
A few common examples include:
- tinea capitis (infection of the scalp/head) - often referred to as ringworm
- tinea corporis (infection of the body) - often referred to as ringworm
- tinea cruris (infection of the groin) - often referred to as jock itch
- tinea pedis (infection of the feet) - often referred to as athlete’s foot
- tinea unguium (infection of the nails) - this is also often called onychomycosis
The infection frequently presents as an itchy, red, round to ring shaped rash, classically with scaly edges. In the scalp, it is frequently associated with hair loss and enlarged lymph nodes. Infected nails can appear yellowed and thickened. Small localized areas on the trunk and extremities can be treated with topical antifungals. However, oral antifungal therapy is usually required if the infection involves the hair follicle (tinea capitis) or nails (tinea unguium/onychomycosis).