ringworm (tinea)


Ringworm is a common fungal disease of the skin of humans and animals which may also affect the hair or nails. Ring-shaped raised lesions occur, often with central spacing; temporary baldness is seen on hairy skin, together with the disintegration of the nails. Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is ringworm of the toes, tinea capitis is ringworm of the scalp, while tinea cruris is a variety affecting the groin and thighs. Various fungi may be responsible, including Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton.


Ringworm can be spread by contact or via infected materials. The lesions of ringworm may form partial or complete rings and may cause intense itching.


Treatment is with antifungal agents taken by mouth (such as itraconazole or terbinafine) or applied locally.



Favus is a type of ringworm of the scalp caused by the ringworm Trichophyton schoenleinii. Rare in Europe, it is typified by yellow crusts made up of the threads of fungus and skin debris, which form honeycomb-like masses.