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Fungus / Tinea

Ringworm (tinea dermatophytid), athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and jock itch (tinea cruris) are common fungal infections of the skin.  These fungal skin infections are superficial, meaning that they do not invade the body.  However, not only do they cause itching, pain, and inconvenience, they are also contagious.

Fungus / Tinea


Fungal Infection Diagnosis

Most often, a diagnosis of fungal infection can be easily made by visualizing the affected area only, but sometimes a non-painful scraping of the skin will be needed for examination under the microscope.  A scraping is done and sent to the lab for a period of one month to see if fungus is present.

Ringworm (tinea capitis)

Ringworm is the common name for “tinea capitis”, or fungal infection on the scalp.  This infection can cause hair loss, as well as itching, flaking, and sometimes scarring on the scalp.  Because the fungal infection is not only on the skin, but down in the hair follicles as well, tinea capitis must be treated with oral medications, often for 6 weeks at a time.  It is important that you take the medication every day, or twice a day with some medications, for the entire 6 weeks, even if it looks like the infection is gone.  If you skip days or stop your medication, the fungus may become resistant to medication and may not be treatable in the future.

Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis)

Athlete’s foot is the term for “tinea pedis”, or fungal infection of the skin on the feet and between the toes.  It is contagious, and people are often infected after going barefoot around someone who has the fungal infection.  It is treated by applying anti-fungal creams to the entire surface of the foot (top, bottom, sides, and between the toes) once or twice a day (depending on the medication used) for as long as a month.  Once a person has had tinea pedis, it is very common for them to become re-infected.

Jock Itch (tinea cruris)

Jock itch is the term for “tinea cruris”, or fungal infection of the skin of the groin.  It is contagious, and can be transferred between sexual partners.  In addition, if you have fungus on your feet, it can be transferred up to the groin.  Tinea cruris is treated by applying antifungal creams to the groin area once or twice a day (depending on the medication used) for as long as a month.

It is very common for people who have had fungal skin infections to become reinfected.  It is very important to use the anti-fungal pills and creams for the entire time they are prescribed, even if the rash appears to be gone.  Stopping the medications early can lead to recurrence of the rash and can make the fungus less responsive to the medications next time.

Do you treat Fungal Skin Infections in your Reno/Tahoe office?

Yes. We evaluate and treat patients with Fungal Skin Infections (Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot, Jock Itch, and others) and prescribe anti-fungal creams as needed. Appointment length varies depending on severity of condition, but is usually not more than 15-30 minutes.

For more information, or to set up a consultation with Dr. Jennifer Janiga for your Fungal Skin Infection evaluation and treatment in our Reno dermatology offices, please send us an email or call 775-398-4600.

Jennifer J. Janiga, MD, FAAD

Dr. Janiga enjoys taking care of both adults and children. Her extensive training and years of experience in medical dermatology, lasers, and cosmetic procedures allows her to treat her patients with the comprehensive attention they deserve.

Dr. Janiga listens attentively to what patients have to say, and works with them in planning the right course of action on an individual basis. Honest talk, humility and a fresh perspective paired with years of experience and education all contribute to the effectiveness of her straightforward care.