Tinea Corporis – Pictures, Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

Tinea Corporis Pictures

What is Tinea Corporis?

Tinea Corporis is a dermatophyte infection of the superficial skin characterized by a non-inflammatory or inflammatory lesion of the glabrous skin except the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the scalp. It is also termed as ringworm of the body although the infection is not related to the worm. The term ringworm defines the appearance of the skin rash that appears on the skin during the process of the infection.

Tinea corporis is a common and highly contagious skin condition that can equally affect both men and women. The infection is most often seen in areas with hot and humid climate although the infection is common worldwide varying only with the type of fungus that is causing the ringworm in the body. The infection with Dermatophyte has no significant mortality although the condition can affect the quality of life. Preadolescent individuals are the most infected with Dermatophyte although it can infect all age groups while children are often seen with Tinea corporis acquired from contact with animals.

Tinea corporis is highly contagious that can infect almost all people in the household or those in close community. The proper preventive measure should be practiced to prevent the spread of the infection. Tinea corporis can cause discomfort to an infected individual although it is treatable and can be prevented.


Tinea corporis is also termed as ringworm of the body although the infection has no involvement with the worm. The term was coined in relation to the appearance of the rash that developed which assumes an appearance similar to the ringworm. The rash in Tinea corporis is relatively round or oval in shape with red scaly patches. The ring or the edges are irregular and expanded with texture that is rather rough or scaly. The interior core of the ring is clear and scaly or may also be marked with red bumps scattered within the core.

The symptoms of Tinea corporis may vary from one person to another. Tinea corporis may occur without symptom or may also occur with symptoms aside from the development of the rash. The onset may be associated with burning sensation while both pruritus and pain may occur in patients who are immunodeficient or those who are HIV positive.

The initial onset of symptoms in Tinea corporis usually takes 4 to 10 days from the time of infection or initial contact with the dermatophyte. The development of the rash is the initial symptom and the rash is typically flat and scaly and may also have some redness and itchiness. Overtime, the circular or ring of skin patches expands with edges that are rough or scaly while the interior core is clear or may have scattered red bumps. The ring of skin patches may come in various sizes and develop in multiple which may tend to overlap as the rash is spreading.

Tinea corporis may be acute where the development and spread of the rash is rapid or it may also be chronic where the rash slowly develops and spreads in the body. It usually occurs on the top layer of glabrous skin, in the arms and in the legs. The rash generally itches and spreads in the body during the course of infection. The onset of Tinea corporis may be mild or severe and the severe infection usually has a rash of multiple rings that merge together. Blisters and pus filled sore may also develop adjacent to the rings in a severe form of infection.


Tinea corporis is a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted through direct contact with animals infected with the fungi. Dermatophyte is a group of fungi that causes the infection resulting in the development of ring rashes on the superficial layer of the skin.

The dermatophyte is a tiny organism that thrives in the superficial surface of the skin that can trigger rash or infection. Tinea corporis can be triggered by various types of dermatophytes although the most common cause is Trichophyton rubrum. Dermatophytes proliferate in warm and moist areas such as in the superficial layer of the skin, nails and hair.

The fungi invade the epidermis of the skin after keratinase and other enzymes have been released. The incubation period takes about 1 to 3 weeks before it can invade the peripheral in a circular pattern while the response to infection results to increased cell proliferation of the epidermis resulting in scaling and expansion of the edges of the rings.

The dermatophytes can be acquired from three sources or hosts:

  • Anthropophile or human host
  • Zoophile or animal host
  • Geophile or soil source

Zoophile or dermatophyte from animals is the usual cause of tinea corporis in human. Direct contact with infected animals is the mode of transmission. Domesticated animals and other pets living in homes is the most common source of tinea corporis among children which they harbored from hugging in-house pets that are infected.

The fungi causing Tinea corporis can be passed on and transmitted via the following method:

Animal to human is a method of transmission where human can get the infection through hugging or petting infected in-house pet. Grooming of animals in the farm is also another way of acquiring the fungi such as those working in the stables. Dogs and cats can spread the fungi in the house subsequently infecting all the household members. Horses, cows and other farm animals can also transmit the fungi to farm workers and others who would come in contact with the infected animals.

Soil to human seldom results to tinea corporis although prolonged exposure to infected soil can transmit the fungi and result to infection.

Human to human is the most common mode of transmitting tinea corporis. A direct contact with an infected person such as hugging or simply shaking hands is potential for harboring the fungal infection. Borrowing personal things or holding an object previously held by an infected person is sufficient enough to transmit the infection.


Tinea corporis is generally treatable and preventable. Tinea corporis usually respond well to over-the-counter treatments. The lesions or the rash usually resolves within 2 weeks after prompt application of treatment.

Anti-fungal creams and ointments topically applied over the affected skin at least twice a day for 3 weeks can successfully treat the infection. Ketoconazole, Clotrimazole and Miconazole are the usual anti-fungal creams prescribed to treat the infection. A severe form of infection may be prescribed with anti-fungal tablets to be taken orally.

Surgical intervention is not necessary except for Tinea corporis that has developed superficial vesicles or deep abscesses that may need drainage to relieve the symptom.

Preventive measures should be considered in avoiding or preventing both in acquiring or passing on the infection. A direct or indirect contact should be avoided while in the course of the infection to prevent infecting others or passing on the fungi to uninfected person or a member of the household.