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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is tinea?
Tinea is a group of fungal skin infections, such as athlete's foot, jock itch and 'ringworm', which cause characteristic ring-shaped red rashes.
What causes tinea?
A group of fungi called dermatophytes causes tinea. These fungi use keratin, a component of skin, as their energy source. How severely you respond to infection depends on the species and strain of the dermatophyte.
How is tinea diagnosed?
Tinea is commonly diagnosed by examining the skin. However, skin scrapings or nail clippings of the affected area can be tested using potassium hydroxide (KOH) or cultured to confirm the diagnosis.
Is tinea contagious?
Tinea is very contagious and can easily be spread through direct contact with an infected person, or through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, such as towels, shoes or communal showers.
Can tinea be prevented?
You can help prevent the spread of tinea by practicing good hygiene, ensuring linen and towels are washed in hot water and not sharing them with others.
Are there any side effects of antifungal medication for tinea?
Nausea and liver damage can result from oral antifungals if they are used for a long period of time. Topical antifungals can cause itching and burning.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
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