Tinea is a contagious fungal infection caused by one of three types of fungi – trichophyton, microsporum or epidermophyton. The course of the disease depends on the site and strain of the fungus involved. Fungal infections are contagious thus quick resolution of the condition is important.

Types of Tinea

Tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) is the most common fungal infection. It is often contracted at public showers and swimming pools. It results in an itchy scaly rash between the toes and/or on soles of the feet.

Tinea of the toe nails is usually associated with tinea pedis and results in the edge of the toe nail becoming yellow and crumbly. It often results in separation of the nail from the nail bed. It can affect several toe nails. T. rubrum is the fungi involved.

Tinea of the fingernails is similar to tinea of the toe nails and usually occurs with a tinea infection of the skin on the same hand. Again T. rubrum is the fungi involved.

Tinea manum, of the hands is often associated with tinea pedis and usually only affects one hand. There may be an inflamed lesion on the palm of the hand. Again T. rubrum is the fungi involved.

Tinea cruris, of the groin is common in men, but can also occur in women. It usually affects one side of the groin on the upper inner thigh, scrotum and genitals. A few pustules may be seen with the lesions.

Tinea corporis, of the trunk and limbs, presents with scaling and inflamed lesions, which may have small pustules within the lesions. In some cases there is no obvious inflammation, just a marginated patch of rough, scaling skin.

Tinea capitis, of the scalp, is common in children and is also known as ringworm. It usually results in a small bald patch on the head or even in a man’s beard. Ringworm contracted from animals however causes more intense inflammation than the form spread from person to person, and can lead to permanent scarring alopecia if left untreated.

The Auckland Skin Clinic approach

Treatment of Tinea at Auckland Skin Clinic involves the use of safe, topical agents and body washes to help relieve the symptoms and reduce inflammation. Oral herbal products may be used to help address inflammation and infection. Contributing nutrient deficiencies, underlying conditions, dietary, environmental and lifestyle triggers are also identified and addressed.

At Auckland Skin Clinic, we’re aware that having a chronic skin disorder can be very frustrating, embarrassing and depressing. We are also aware that it often requires some major effort on your part to change your habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle. We do our best to ensure your emotional wellbeing is supported throughout this process.