Tinea is a fungal infection of skin, nail and hairs. Tinea is usually caused by filamentous fungi such as Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. Among those fungi, Trichophyton is the most common cause of Tinea in human skin.
Tinea can be spread by skin to skin contact or indirectly through sharing of towels, clothes or walking with barefoot on floors. Tinea tends to grow on warm, sweat prone areas of the body.
There are few types of Tinea which depends on the locations of the body affected:
- Tinea corporis- Infection of body surfaces other than feet, groin, face, scalp hair or beard hair
- Tinea pedis- Infection of the foot (Athelete's foot)
- Tinea cruris- Infection of the groin (Jock itch)
- Tinea capitis- Infection of scalp hair
- Tinea unguium (dermatophyte onchomycosis)- Infection of the nail
- Itching and stinging
- Circular red scaly rash with central clearing (usually happens on body, groin, arms and legs)
- Blister scaly rash due to intense inflammatory reaction
- Yellow or white discolouration of the nails. Loosening or separation of fingernail or toenail from its bed
- Bald spots on the scalp known as Kerion
- Antifungal cream such as Lamisil cream can be used to treat Tinea but it takes time to work and can be expensive. Canestan cream does not work well in treatment of Tinea
- Terbinafine tablet. More effective but also take time to work. The medication is generic and therefore, even without approval from PBS authority, the price is still reasonable to purchase privately
- Azole tablets such as Itraconazole and Fluconazole