What Is Tinea Faciei?
Tinea Faciei is a medical term given for a fungal infection affecting the skin of the face. It is caused by the dermatophyte species of fungi meaning that the rashes caused in this condition have a circular border, giving it a ring-like appearance and hence it is also known by the name of ringworms. Usually, the rashes caused by Tinea Faciei do not involve the lower part of the face or jaw, but affects the upper part of the face and cheeks, although in some cases the rashes from Tinea Faciei do involve the bearded area of the face or the jaw area as well.
Tinea Faciei is a rare condition and mostly is transmitted from an animal or pets to humans. Tinea Faciei may occur along with other fungal infections of the skin like tinea capitis or tinea corporis as well. Antifungal treatment is the most preferred and front line treatment for Tinea Faciei.
What Causes Tinea Faciei?
As stated above, Tinea Faciei is caused by dermatophytes which are fungi that cause only superficial skin infections mean that the infection does not spread to the inner layers of the skin or tissues. Dermatophytes contain enzymes, which break down the proteins present on the skin surface and settles down on the outer layer of skin. The species of dermatophyte specifically responsible for development of Tinea Faciei are usually found in animals, which are then transmitted to humans through direct contact.
The specific species of the fungi responsible for Tinea Faciei are Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton tonsurans, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, and Tinea verrucosum. Cats and dogs are the most favorite breeding ground for these fungi and from there they are transmitted to humans.
Cattle and other livestock also have the species, which cause Tinea Faciei. A fungal infection is most likely to be caused if an individual has dry cracked skin or a break or cut in the skin. Tinea Faciei may also develop if an individual has a fungal infection in some other part of the body and due to persistent scratching, it may affect the facial area causing Tinea Faciei.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tinea Faciei?
The rashes caused by Tinea Faciei are similar to that of the rashes caused by other tinea infections. It means that the rashes are circular in shape, giving it a ring like appearance and hence they are also termed as ringworms. They are usually red in color with a raised border and dry skin in the center. The border of these rashes may also contain tiny blisters, which may ooze some clear fluid. The location of the rashes in Tinea Faciei is normally the face, but the rashes may be localized to certain areas of the face, which may be the cheeks which may have a single or multiple rashes. The other areas where rashes of Tinea Faciei may be seen are the forehead, around the eyes, nose, and the chin. Tinea Faciei never involves the entire face at one time even though there may be rashes at different parts of the face.
How is Tinea Faciei Diagnosed?
The collection of the surface scrapings is important for laboratory studies. The diagnosis of tinea faciei is confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings, but the clinical diagnosis may be unreliable. Mycologic examination is very essential in the diagnosis of tinea faciei. This process includes direct microscopic examination for culturing and hyphal elements. Direct microscopic examination is the easiest mycologic procedure.
What is the Treatment for Tinea Faciei?
As stated, antifungal medications either oral or topical are the mainstay of treatment for Tinea Faciei. The most preferred medications to treat Tinea Faciei are ciclopirox (Penlac, Loprox) and topical miconazole or itraconazole. Oral antifungals to treat Tinea Faciei are rarely used but may be given if topical application does not get rid of the rash caused by Tinea Faciei, especially if the infection somehow spreads to the follicles. The main reason for the infection spreading to the follicles is because of the use of steroid creams for treatment of rashes caused by Tinea Faciei. Thus, it is always recommended to consult a dermatologist who can formulate the best treatment plan for treating Tinea Faciei.
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