Case of Tinea Corporis
Tinea corporis (ringworm) is the name used for infection of the trunk, legs or arms with a dermatophyte fungus. In different parts of the world, different species cause tinea corporis. In New Zealand, Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum) is the most common cause. Infection often comes from the feet (tinea pedis) or nails (tinea unguium) originally. Microsporum canis (M. canis) from cats and dogs, and T. verrucosum, from farm cattle, are also common. Clinical features of Tinea Corporis Tinea corporis may be acute (sudden onset and rapid spread) or chronic (slow extension of a mild, barely inflamed, rash). It usually affects exposed areas but may also spread from other infected sites. Acute tinea corporis presents as itchy inflamed red patches and may be pustular. The cause is often infection by an animal (zoophilic) fungus such as M canis. Chronic tinea corporis tends to be most prominent in body folds (spreading from tinea cruris). T. rubrum is the most common cause. If widespread, the condition tends to be stubborn to treat and prone to recurrence. This is possibly due to a decreased natural skin resistance to fungi or because of reinfection from the environment. Diagnosis of tinea corporis The diagnosis of tinea corporis is confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings. Occasionally, the diagnosis is made on skin biopsy because of characteristic histopathological features of tinea corporis and organisms may be found in the outside layers of the skin.
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