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‘Tinea’ is a blanket name for a superficial fungal skin infection that manifests commonly as ‘athlete’s foot’, ‘jock itch’, or ‘ringworm’.


‘Tinea’ means ‘worm’ – though this infection has nothing to do with worms. Tinea can appear in lots of places, even in the nails, and it can be driven by any of a number of fungi, though usually, it’s ‘pityrosporum’ yeast. You might take a look at our page on ‘Candida’.


The treatment is always the same, no matter what the fungus. You start with topical antifungals, and you keep the affected area as aired and dry as possible. You wear open-toed shoes, for example, or light, cotton underwear – whatever is appropriate to the site involved. You make life as hard as possible for fungi to grow, in other words. (They like it moist and warm.) If the fungus proves stubborn, there are oral medications that can help.

Questions about your skin? Ask our dermatologists online for £75.