Tinea infection is a superficial skin infection which can occur on any part of body. There are various forms of Tinea infection which are differentiated by the affected part of body for example tinea corporis on glaborous skin and tinea paddis on feet. It is communicable in nature, can affect any age group, and predominant among both sexes. Allopathic treatment mainly in the form of “topical antifungal ointments” lead to palliation but the tendency to recurrence remain. Homoeopathic dynamic remedies given internally breaks this tendency of reoccurrence and achieve permanent cure.
Keywords: Tinea infection, Homoeopathy, Management.
Dermatophytoses or Tinea infection or Ringworm is the most common fungal infection of the skin caused by the organism which belong to any of the three genera namely- Microsporon, Trichophyton, Epidermophyton.The clinical feature and nomenclature of the dermatophytoses depends on the site of involvement.
Ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis)-
Tinea capitis (also known as “Herpes tonsurans”, “Ringworm of hair,” “Ringworm of the scalp,” “Scalp ringworm”, and “Tinea tonsurans”) is a superficial fungal infection (dermatophytosis) of the scalp.
Tinea Barbae- When the fungus involves the coarse hair of beard and moustache, it is named as tinea barbae. It occurs only in adult males. It presents as red inflammatory papules or pustules associated with exudation and crusting.
Ringworm on the body (Tinea corporis)- Tinea corporis (also known as Ringworm, tinea circinata, and Tinea glabrosa) is asuperficial fungal infection (dermatophytosis) of the arms and legs, especially on glabrous skin, however it may occur on any part of the body.
Ringworm of the groin (Tinea cruris)- This is often called ‘jock itch’ because it occurs in sports people and is common among young men. It causes an itchy, red rash in your groin and the surrounding area and is usually seen in men who have been sweating a lot. Often you will also have athlete’s foot, and scratching your feet, followed by your groin may spread the infection.
Tinea Faciei- Infection of the skin of face excluding the moustache and beard of adult male is called tinea faciei. The lesions are like tinea corporis. Topical application of the steroids usually alters appearance of the lesions. It is called tinea incognitio.
Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis and Tinea manuum)- Around 25 in 100 adults have athlete’s foot at some time in their lives. It’s caused by a combination of fungi and bacteria, causing your skin to become itchy, dry, scaly and red, especially between your toes. Sometimes it causes blisters and cracked skin. You often pick up athlete’s foot from contaminated skin scales in swimming pools, showers and saunas. If you don’t wash your hands after touching a contaminated area, it can spread to your hands where it’s known as Tinea manuum. It mostly affects the creases on your palms and sides of your fingers.
Tinea Unguim- Onychomycosis is the name for any fungal nail infection. Tinea unguium (ringworm of your nails) is a common infection. Your nails become malformed, thickened and crumbly. Not all nails affected like this are caused by fungal infections, but it’s a common cause. Toenail infections are commonly linked with athlete’s foot. Your fingernails can be affected too.
Tinea Imbricata- An uncommon variant of tinea corpor is confined to certain geographical areas. Caused by Trichophyton concentricum. Concentric rings of brownish scales with clear intervening skin; scales attached to one edge. Itching pronounced.
Pityriasis Versicolor (Tinea versicolor)- It is a common embarrassing fungal infection caused by Malassezia furfur. It presents as a slightly scaly, hypo-pigmented macules mainly on upper trunk which may spread to shoulder, upper arms, lower trunk and neck. The earliest lesions are usually located around the hair follicles but soon coalesce to form large areas.
PREVENTION OF TINEA INFECTIONS
“PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.”
In § 4 of Organon of Medicine, Dr. Hahnemann says “He is likewise a Preserver of Health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.” These guidelines may help to keep fungal infection under control:-
- REMOVAL OF EXCITING CAUSE
- Keeping your skin clean and dry is your best defense.
- When you’re at home, take your shoes off and expose your feet to the air
- Change your socks and underwear every day, especially in warm weather.
- Dry your feet carefully (especially between the toes) after using a locker room or public shower.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Instead, wear flip-flops, sandals or water shoes.
- Don’t wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm weather. It will make you sweat more, which can encourage the growth of fungal infections.
- Throw away worn-out exercise shoes. Never borrow other people’s shoes.
- Don’t let other people use your towels or wear your clothing. Don’t borrow these items from others.
- Check your pets for areas of hair loss. Ask your veterinarian to check them. It’s important to check pets carefully, because if you don’t find out whether they are causing your fungal infection, you may get it again from them, even after treatment.
- Make sure shared exercise equipment (such as a treadmill at your gym) is clean before you use it.
- REMOVAL OF MAINTAINING CAUSE
There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a fungal skin infection. You should:
- Dry your skin carefully after bathing
- Wear loose fitting clothes and underwear
- Choose cotton socks and natural fiber underwear to allow your skin to breathe
- Not share towels, hair brushes, and combs
- Wash bed linen and clothes often to get rid of fungal spores
- Throw away or disinfect pillows, hats, combs or scissors with bleach if someone in your family has scalp ringworm
- Always wear flip-flops or plastic shoes in communal area such as swimming pools
- Alternate shoes every two or three days so that they have time to dry out (to help prevent athlete’s foot)
- Wear synthetic fibers that ‘wick’ the sweat away from the body, helping to keep your skin dry, if you’re exercising
- DIET AND REGIMEN
Proper intake of nutrients and adequate diet is most important for healthy skin. Without healthy diet, skin can shrivel up like a plant without water after some time to keep skin healthy glowing and younger diet management is important as well as treatment. Always eat fresh, leafy green vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and are high in antioxidant properties. Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, melons, pears, plum sand stewed apples at breakfast are excellent for the skin in almost everyone. Avoid junk, spicy, oily, packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods these foods have little nutritional value and also poorly digested by our stomach which creates impurities that localize in the skin.
- ANAGALLIS ARVENSIS (Anag.) (Antisycotic-psoric)
The eruptions are dry, rough with bran-like scales in ring. Especially used for grouped vesicular lesions on hands, fingers with itching which is worse by touching.
- ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM (Ant c) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is used in person with inclination to grow fatty. Children are fretful, peevish, cannot bear to be touched or looked at. The person is usually sad, weepy, sentimental, anxious and fed up with life. Gastric complaints from overeating; thick milky white coating on the tongue; desire for sour food, pickles and aversion to cold bathing are the other characteristics of the drug. It is given for various types of lesions which include papules, vesicles, pustules, white scales and thickening over hands and feet. Itching or burning worse from warmth. Nails are brittle and grow out of shape. Hard and horny callosities over hands and feet.
- ARSENICUM ALBUM (Ars) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It has many dispositions which include depression, melancholia, despair, indifference, anxiety, fear, restlessness, anguish or irritability, sensitiveness and peevishness. Marked prostration with fainting, mental restlessness, burning pain better by heat, night aggravation and offensive discharge are the leading indications.it is used for various types of lesions including papules, vesicles, pustules, ulcers, wheals, dryness and scales. The lesions may also have itching or burning, oedema, redness excoriations or crusting.
- BACILLINUM (Bac)(Antipsoric-syphilitic)
It is used for fair complexion, blue eyed, blond, tall, flat and narrow chested persons who is active, precocious, week and is having tubercular diathesis. It is given as intercurrent medicine when best indicated remedy fails to act with the tubercular background. Excessively chilly, rapid and pronounced emaciation, changing symptoms from one part to another are the leading indications. Skin symptoms include recurrent small boils which are intensely painful and are appearing especially in nose with green foetid pus, chronic eczematous lesions over skin folds, behind ears, hairy areas, fiery red skin with soreness and rawness, psoriasis with immense quantities of white bran like scales and itching worse by undressing and bathing.
- CALCAREA CARBONICUM(Calc) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is suited to leuco-phlegmatic constitutions, blond hair, fair complexion, blue eyed who has tendency to obesity. These persons have great apprehension and fear that people will observe their confusion, are sensitive to hearing about accident, cruelties, roits, etc. Profuse sweating from head while sleeping, desire for eggs, feeling better when constipated are the leading indications. Skin is unhealthy, has tendency to ulcerate, small wounds do not heal quickly, glands swollen, petechial eruptions, abscesses in deep muscles and warts on hands and face.
- CALCAREA SULPHURICA (Calc-s) (Antisyphilitic-sycotic-psoric)
It is used for dermatitis, glandular swellings, cystic tumours and suppurative processes when the pus has yellow, thick and lumpy character. The skin is unhealthy like in other calcarea salts. Itching and pain in lesions are better by cold.
- HEPAR SULPHURICUM (Hep) (Antipsoric-syphilitic)
It is used in irritable, quick and hasty persons. Patient is peevish, angry at even least triffle, hypochondrical and unreasonably anxious. Extremely sensitive to cold air and touch. It is used for various types of skin lesions, slightest injury causes suppuration, abscess, suppurating glands, papulo-pustular lesions and deep cracks on hands and feet. Ulcers with pus discharge mixed with blood, smelling like old cheese, surrounded by little pimples, very painful, splinter like pain and better by warmth. Chronic and recurrent wheals better by warmth.
- HYDROCOTYLE ASIATICA (Hydrc) (Antisycotic-psoric-syphilitic)
Inflammation, cellular proliferation, induration and lichenification of the skin are important symptoms. It is used for circumscribed red scaly lesions with severe itching or pricking which is worse at night and after scratching.
- KALI SULPHURICUM (Kali-s) (Antipsoric-syphilitic)
It is used in diseases with profuse desquamation, yellow mucous and serous discharge. Skin symptoms include itching, burning, popular eruptions, pustular lesions with thick yellow discharge, thick yellowish scales, ringworm of scalp and beard with abundant scaling.
- LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM (Lyc) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is suitable to person intellectually keen but physically weak, upper parts of the body emaciated, lower parts semi-dropsical, having deep seated progressive chronic diseases. It affects right side of the body or complaint goes from right to left side. The person is predisposed to gastric and hepatic affections, all the symptoms are worse in the evening between 4 to 8 pm. The complexion is pale, dirty, unhealthy, sallow with deep furrows and senile look. The temperament is irritable, peevish, loves power, cannot endure opposition, avaricious, greedy, miserly and malicious. Skin symptoms include ulcers, fissures, abscesses, wheals, violent itching, worse on warm applications, eczematisation, chronic dermatitis, thickening, induration, brown spots on face, premature greying of hair. It is indicated in candidial intertrigo, dermatophytosis.
- MEZEREUM (Mez) (Antipsoric-syphilitic)
It is suitable to irresolute persons of phlegmatic temperament having eczematous dermatitis. Sensitive to cold, air, neuralgic pain after herpes zoster, chilliness and skin lesions with intolerable itching, thick leather like crusts under which thick yellow pus collects, hair glued and matted. Offensive pus with maggots, vesicular lesions with burning surrounded by shining fiery redness are characteristics.
- NATRUM ARSENICUM (Nat ars) (Antipsoric-sycotic)
It has chilliness and sensitivity to cold, air like Arsalb but itching is worse by heat and exercise. Skin symptoms include thin, white scales. Itching worse from warmth and exercise.
- NITRICUM ACIDUM (Nit ac) (Antisyphilitic-psycotic-psora)
It is used in thin, dark complexioned, nervous and chilly persons. Sticking, pricking pain as from splincter, easily disposed to diarrhoea and scanty, dark brown, turbid, strong smelling urine like horses urine are the leading indications. It is used for large, jagged, bleeding warts, ulcers with exuberant granulations, base like raw flesh, irregular edges and bleeding. Comedones and papules on face. It is indicated in candidiasis.
- PETROLEUM (Petr) (Antipsoric-syphilitic-sycotic)
It is given to the persons with irritable, quarrelsome disposition, easily offended at triffles, vexed at everything. Skin symptoms are worse in winter. Itching is worse at night, painful sensitiveness of whole body, slightest injury suppurates, rough, cracked, fissures, painful lesions especially on hands, fingertips, soles. Heat and burning of palms and soles with foul sweat. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
- PSORINUM (Psor) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is given to the psoric constitutions when well selected remedies or Sulphur fail to relieve or improve permanently. Filthy smell of body, great sensitiveness to cold air or change of weather, canon like odour of discharges, hungry in the middle of the night, better after sweating and despair from itching are the leading indications. It is used for all types of acne which are worse during menses. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
- RHUS TOXICODENDRON (Rhus t) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is given for the rheumatic diathesis, ill effects of getting wet after being heated. Restlessness, triangular red tip of tongue, right sided complaints which are better by warm, dry weather and pains which are better by continued motion are the leading indications. It is used for the dermatitis with erythema, oedema, cellulitis, vasicular, bullous lesions, postules, bruning, itching or stinging pain better by warmth. It is also indicated for wheals after getting wet and in hardness and induration of skin. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
- SARSAPARILLA OFFICINALIS (Sars) (Antipsoric-syphilitic-sycotic)
It is given to the dark-haired persons having lithic or sycotic diathesis. Emaciation, white coated tongue, aphthae, increased salivation,foetid breath and pain at the end of urination are the leading indications. It is used for dry, itchy, herpetic, crusty eruptions, cracked skin of hands and feet particularly on the side of fingers and toes with hardness and induration of margins, eczema of breast with cracked and inverted nipples and eruptions very spring and worse in summer. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
- SEPIA OFFICINALIS (Sep) (Antipsoric-sycotic-syphilitic)
It is suitable to person of dark hair wild and easy disposition. The leading indications include great sadness and weeping, indifference to even loved ones, yellow saddle across upper parts of cheeks and nose, sensation of emptiness, all types of uterine affections, intolerable offensive and profuse sweat, worse after washing, exposed to cold air and better after warmth of bed, hot application and violent exercise. It is used in ring shaped lesion especially over upper parts of body appear every spring, itching worse on bends of elbow and knee, hyperpigmented spots over face and wheals worse in open air and better in warm room. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
- SILICEA TERRA (Sil) (Antipsoric-syphilitic-sycotic)
It is given to the nervous, irritable, sanguine person of psoric diathesis with inadequate nutrition due to imperfect assimilation and to person having fair complexion, fine dry skin, pale face and weak lax muscles. Lack of vital heat, want of grit, moral or physical, ill effects after vaccination, constipation as from inactivity of rectum, offensive sweating of hands feet and axillae and scrofulous, emaciated child with open fontanelles and distended abdomen are the leading indications. It is used for suppurations primary as well as secondary, the lesions are sensitive to cold air and better by warmth and covering, suppuration progress slowly, offensive pus, painless swelling of glands, old fistulous ulcers and crippled nails. It is indicated in candidiasis.
- SULPHUR (Sulph) (Antipsoric-syphilitic-sycotic)
It is given to dirty, filthy, lean, stooped- shouldered and scrofulous person. Nervous temperament. Very selfish, relapsing complaints, cannot stand for a long time, excessive burning everywhere, hungry at 11 am, constipated large painful stools, desires sweet, marked aversion to the bathing are the leading indications. It is used in every type of skin lesions, marked itching, want to scratch, burning after scratching worse by heat of bed, recurrent boils, eruptions dry, scaly, pustules, cracks and excoriation in skin folds. It is indicated in dermatophytosis, pityriasis versicolor.
- TELLURIUM METALLICUM (Tell) (Antipsoric-syphilitic)
It is used for ring shaped, circular lesions over upper parts of body, face, chest and neck. Itching of hands and feet, eczematous lesion over face, behind ear with offensive acrid discharge.Offensive sweating on foot, smell like garlic, craving for apples and weak empty feeling with heartburn are the other useful indications. It is indicated in dermatophytosis.
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About the author
Dr Umesh Jain
Department of Homoeopathic pharmacy
Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Greater Noida (U.P)