‘Tinea’ is a blanket name for a superficial fungal skin infection that manifests commonly as ‘athlete’s foot’, ‘jock itch’, or ‘ringworm’.


‘Tinea’ means ‘worm’ – though this infection has nothing to do with worms. Tinea can appear in lots of places, even in the nails, and it can be driven by any of a number of fungi, though usually it’s ‘pityrosporum’ yeast. You might take a look at our page on ‘Candida’.

Tinea can spread fairly easily, but it’s not dangerous, and it’s easy to treat.


The treatment is always the same, no matter what the fungus. You start with topical antifungals, and you keep the affected area as aired and dry as possible. You wear open-toed shoes, for example, or light, cotton underwear – whatever is appropriate to the site involved. You make life as hard as possible for fungi to grow, in other words. (They like it moist and warm.) If the fungus proves stubborn, there are oral medications that can help.


The usual treatment for hives is to rule out drug reactions or particular foods that may be causing problems.

Then, oral antihistamines are offered. There are different kinds, and your doctor will help you with this.

For severe or ongoing hives, especially attended by deeper inflammation, which is called angioedema, there is more aggressive medication. You can ask your doctor about ‘immunosuppressant’ drugs, or the newer ‘biologic’ agents.

Questions about your skin? Ask our dermatologists online for $35.