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Common Fungal Rashes

Fungal rashes are common and can be difficult to diagnose. Rashes to the body and trunk may occur secondarily to infection with tinea corpora (ringworm) or tinea versicolor. In this section, we will discuss both of these common fungal rashes. In addition, athlete's foot and tinea cruris (jock itch) will also be discussed.


1. TINEA CRURIS: Also known as jock itch, causes a reddened, inflamed, and itchy rash to an area of the groin or the buttock crease. Treatment will require an anti-fungal cream (i.e. Lotrimin, Micactin) which is available without a prescription. Apply the medication to only the affected area 3 times a day, keeping the area clean and dry. Clean all under clothing as well. If the condition does not clear within a week, consult your doctor.

2. TINEA VERSICOLOR: These fungal skin rashes affect the trunk (back and chest are common) in sun exposed areas ("sun fungus"). The appearance of tinea is a brownish, flat, often scaly, rash that may cause areas of depigmentation in dark-skinned people. Treatment is with a special shampoo (Selsun shampoo) that must be applied to the area regularly. Often these rashes require shampoo use over a long period of time (weeks). Recurrence is common. Other medical treatment involves the REGULAR use of lotrimin 1% cream.

3. RINGWORM: This infection is a commonly occurrence in children. It is identified by a red, circular, "ring like" eruption that can be successfully treated with a nonprescription, anti-fungal cream (Lotrimin). Apply to the area 3 times a day, keeping the area clean and dry. See your doctor or pediatrician if there is no improvement within a week.

4. ATHLETE'S FOOT: This infection occurs mostly between the toes and in the web spaces. A red, itchy rash is common. Treatment includes keeping the area clean an dry and using a nonprescription antifungal cream (3 times a day) such as (Micactin) or (Lotrimin). The infection may recur after the patient wears old tennis shoes and socks. New shoes may help in recurrent cases of athlete's foot.

Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot:

  • Soak feet in very warm water with about one part white vinegar to four parts water, for 20 - 30 minutes, 2 times a day, until the fungus is no longer visible and irritating.
  • To cure athlete's foot spray it with a generous amount of holding hair spray.

5. FUNGAL SCALP INFECTIONS: This fungal infection is more difficult to eradicate and will require oral anti-fungal medications (griseofulvin, Ketoconazole) prescribed by your physician.

Note: Dermatology follow-up is recommended is severe cases that show no improvement within a week. Most of the anti-fungal creams mentioned are now available without a prescription. Fungal infections of the scalp and fingernails will require oral anti-fungal medications to kill the fungus completely.

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