Last updated on: January 25th, 2023

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Tinea infections



Tinea infections are fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. Tinea infections can affect the skin, nails, and hair, and are classified according to the affected site.


The prevalence of tinea infections is 20-25%. Tinea infections are the second most common skin disease in the United States. The most common tinea infections are tinea pedis, tinea corporis, and tinea cruris. Tinea infections can affect all age groups, with different types of infection being more prevalent in certain age groups.


Tinea infections are usually limited to superficial keratinized tissue (skin, hair and nails). The dermatophytes invade the stratum corneum of the skin, where their metabolic products and a delayed hypersensitivity reaction cause inflammation. Fungi transmitted from animals to humans usually cause a more severe inflammatory response than the fungi transmitted from person to person.


Tinea infections are superficial fungal infections caused by three genera of dermatophytes: Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton. Trichophyton commonly involves skin, hair, and nail. Trichophyton rubrum is is the most common microorganism in tinea infections, except for tinea capitis, where Trichophyton tonsurans is more common. Microsporum commonly involves skin and hair. Epidermophyton commonly involves skin and nails.

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