FAQ | Fungal Infections

Tinea Infections (Ringworm, Athlete's Foot, Jock Itch): Although the name ringworm is attached to some of these conditions, worms are not involved in any of them. The infections are caused by fungi.

Tinea corporis is ringworm of the body (corporis means body in Latin). Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot is an infection that occurs on the feet, particularly between the toes (pedis is the Latin word for foot). When fungi cause athlete’s foot, the skin can become itchy and red with cracking and flaking between the toes. Tinea cruris or jock itch tends to create a rash in the moist, warm areas of the groin (cruris means leg in Latin). In many cases of ringworm and other tinea infections, circular, ring-shaped sores are formed, which is why the term ringworm is used. On the body, these lesions or patches may be slightly red and often have a scaly border. They may grow to about 1 inch in diameter. While some children have just one patch, others may have several of them. They tend to be itchy and uncomfortable. Tinea infections are spread by skin-to-skin contact, most often when a child touches another person who is already infected. The fungi thrive in warm, damp environments When a person sweats during physical activity, the moisture on the skin can increase the chances of a fungal infection.

Pityriasis versicolor: The term pityriasis is used to describe skin conditions in which the scale appears similar to bran. The multiple colours of pityriasis versicolor give rise to the second part of the name, versicolor. Pityriasis versicolor is a common yeast infection of the skin, in which flaky discoloured patches appear on the chest and back. Pityriasis versicolor most frequently affects young adults and is slightly more common in men than in women. It can also affect children, adolescents and older adults.Pityriasis versicolor is more common in hot, humid climates than in cool, dry climates. It often affects people that perspire heavily. It may clear in the winter months and recur each summer.