Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection affecting the superficial skin of the foot. Up to 25% of Americans are affected by this condition at any one time. The infection most often starts in the space between the toes and can be accompanied by redness, itching, cracked skin and bad odors. It can be spread through contact with infected skin flakes or contact with fungi in damp areas such as public showers, pool areas or locker rooms, and can be exacerbated by wearing restrictive footwear and/or sweaty socks.
Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris, affects the skin of the groin, buttocks and upper thighs, especially in athletes. These areas are particularly susceptible to infection due to the presence of sweat and moisture, which creates perfect conditions for fungal growth. Jock itch presents as a highly visible, scaly plaque with a raised edge, with symptoms including an uncomfortable, itchy rash on the groin, which may be painful if the skin is breaking down due to excess moisture.
Ringworm, also known as tinea corporis, is a fungal infection affecting the trunk, neck, arms and legs, and does not have anything to do with worms. In the United States, 1 in 5 cases of these fungal skin infections are due to ringworm. Ringworm typically presents with a visible, itchy, red rash and single or multiple lesions with raised borders that spread from a core, giving it the characteristic ring shape.
Pityriasis, also known as tinea versicolor, is caused by yeasts, which are a type of fungi that causes the skin to appear lighter, darker or redder than surrounding unaffected skin. It most commonly occurs on the chest and back, but other affected areas include upper arms, neck and face. Pityriasis is most noticeable during the summer months, when the affected areas do not tan as easily as normal skin. Symptoms include patches of discolored skin, mild itching and scaling of skin. It is not contagious or painful.