Tinea cream is used to treat fungal infections associated with the presence of the ringworm fungi. The term ringworm was originally used due to the misconception that the infection was caused by worm, though the actual cause of tinea is attributed to a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi are traditionally treated using a wide range of topical creams designed to kill the infection and eliminate the appearance of the round, ring rash and other common symptoms of tinea. Ringworm ointment is applied to the areas affected by the dermatophytes infection and is usually effective over a short period of time, generally about two weeks.
Ringworm infections can appear on many different locations on the body, including the scalp, soles of the feet, and trunk of the body. The location of the infection has very little to do with the effectiveness of the tinea cream, and the different types are often prescribed interchangeably. The tinea fungi can only live in the top layers of the skin and feed from the keratin cells located there. Fortunately, the ringworm infection very rarely spreads any deeper in the body. The mucous membranes of the body are also resistant to this type of infection, which is one of the reasons antifungal ointment is so effective in treating this condition.
Most cases of ringworm are easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription preparations in the form of tinea cream. The doctor prescribing the medication will determine which one to use based on criteria including location of the infection, severity of the condition, and any potential skin allergies of the patient. Some of the most common tinea creams include terbinafine, ketoconazole, and clotrimazole. Miconazole and naftifine are used for the treatment of ringworm as well and yield excellent results for most patients in the average two-week period. These types of antifungal creams are often successfully used on infections affecting most regions of the body.
In some rare cases, the use of tinea cream alone is insufficient to eliminate the ringworm infection and additional intervention is necessary. This is commonly the case when the tinea infection is located in hard to reach areas of the body, such as the scalp or the finger or toe nail beds. In these cases, tinea ointment is unable to sufficiently cover the infection, and the use of oral medications becomes necessary. With the scalp, a doctor may prescribe both oral and topical anti fungal medications, while infections of the nail beds are typically treated with prescription oral medications alone.