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[L. tinea, bookworm]
Any fungal skin disease occurring on various parts of the body.
There are two types of findings. Superficial findings include scaling, slight itching, reddish or grayish patches, and dry, brittle hair that is easily extracted with the hair shaft. Deep findings include flat, reddish, kerion-like tumors, whose surfaces are studded with dead or broken hairs or by gaping follicular orifices. Nodules may be broken down in the center, discharging pus through dilated follicular openings.
Griseofulvin, terbinafine, or ketoconazole is given orally for all types of true trichophyton infections. Local treatment alone is of little benefit in ringworm of the scalp, nails, and, in most cases the feet. Topical preparations containing fungicidal agents are useful for tinea cruris and tinea pedis.
Personal hygiene is important in controlling these two common diseases. The use of antiseptic foot baths to control tinea pedis does not prevent spread of the infection from one person to another. Those affected should not let others use their personal items such as clothes, towels, and sports equipment.
Tinea of the scalp, tinea capitis, is particularly resistant if it is due to Microsporum audouinii. It should not be treated topically. Systemic griseofulvin is quite effective.