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HealthInfo Canterbury

Overview of fungal skin infections

Fungal skin infections are very common. The most common fungal skin infection is called tinea. Tinea is different to yeast infections such as candida, which can also cause thrush

Tinea can affect various parts of the body and can have different names depending on where it is on the body. For example, it's known as ringworm when children commonly get it around their body. Men commonly get it in the groin, in which case it's often called jock itch. You can get it in your toenails and fingernails.

DermNet NZ has pages explaining the different places tinea can occur, and the different names it has.

Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot is the name given to the skin condition that causes moist skin between your toes to crack and peel off. It can be caused by a fungal infection, although there are other causes as well.

You can read more about what causes athlete's foot and how to treat it on DermNet NZ – Athlete's Foot, and this Podiatry NZ page.

Fungal nail infections

Fungal nail infections are also called onychomycosis. They are rare in children, but become more common with age.

You can read more about what causes fungal nail infections, and how to treat them on DermNet NZ – Fungal nail infections (onychomycosis), and this Podiatry NZ page.

Treating fungal skin infections

Fungal skin infections are often treated with creams (also known as topical antifungal medications).

Terbinafine is an oral antifungal medicine (meaning you swallow it) that is often used for fungal nail infections. It is also sometimes used for skin infections.

Fluconazole is another oral antifungal medicine that can be used for fungal infections that creams haven't worked on.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2019.

See also:


Skin infections


Toenail problems

Page reference: 460784

Review key: HIRWM-49695