Tinea faciei, commonly referred to as facial ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the face. Despite its name, it is not caused by a worm but rather by various types of fungi, primarily dermatophytes. This is seen especially in females and young children, where the glabrous skin of the face is infected with a dermatophytes fungus. This condition can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and may require medical intervention for effective treatment.

Causes of Tinea Faciei

Tinea faciei is typically caused by the same fungi responsible for other forms of ringworm, such as Tinea corporis (body ringworm) or Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm). These fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, animal, or contaminated objects.

Fungal Infections:

The most common cause of tinea faciei is direct contact with fungi from infected individuals or contaminated surfaces. This can occur through sharing personal items like towels, clothing, or cosmetics.

Spread from Other Body Parts:

In some cases, tinea faciei may spread from other areas of the body, such as the scalp or body, particularly if proper hygiene practices are not followed.

Spread from pet

The fungul infection spread can occur either by direct contact with a pet or can be secondary spread form pre-existing tinea of another body site. History of exposure to animals can be obtained in most of the cases.

Symptoms of Tinea Faciei

The symptoms of tinea faciei can vary from person to person but often include:

  • Red, Scaly Patches: Affected areas of the face may develop red, scaly patches that are slightly raised.
  • Itching and Burning Sensation: The infected skin may itch or burn, leading to discomfort.
  • Blister Formation: In severe cases, blisters may form on the affected areas, which can be painful and may ooze fluid.
  • Sunlight: The most commonly seen complaints are that of itching, erythema, burning and exacerbation after sun exposure.

Diagnosis of Tinea Faciei

Diagnosing tinea faciei typically involves:

  • Visual Examination: A healthcare provider will examine the affected areas of the face to assess the appearance of the rash.
  • Skin Scraping Test: Diagnosis can be established by careful examination of the scrapings taken from the skin surface.
  • Microscopic Examination: The skin scraping sample may be examined under a microscope to identify the specific type of fungus causing the infection.
  • Mark the right diagnosis: Bowenoid solar keratoses, psoriasis, impetigo, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and benign tumor infiltrates are other condition that need to be differntiated.

Prevention of Tinea Faciei

Preventing tinea faciei involves practicing good hygiene and taking precautions to avoid exposure to fungi.

  • Personal Hygiene: Regularly wash your face with mild soap and water, and avoid sharing personal items like towels or cosmetics with others.
  • Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Refrain from sharing personal items that may come into contact with the face, such as hats, scarves, or hairbrushes.
  • Keeping Skin Dry: Keep the skin dry, particularly in areas prone to sweating, to create an environment less conducive to fungal growth.

Complications of Untreated Tinea Faciei

If left untreated, tinea faciei can lead to complications such as:

  • Secondary Bacterial Infections: Scratching the affected areas can lead to bacterial infections, which may require additional treatment with antibiotics.
  • Scarring: Severe cases of tinea faciei may result in scarring or changes in pigmentation on the affected areas of the face.

Home Remedies for Tinea Faciei

In addition to medical treatments, certain home remedies may help alleviate symptoms of tinea faciei:

  • Tea Tree Oil: Applying diluted tea tree oil to the affected areas may help reduce inflammation and itching associated with tinea faciei.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera gel has soothing properties that can help relieve itching and promote healing of the skin.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil possesses antifungal properties and can be applied topically to the affected areas to help fight fungal infections.

When to See a Doctor

It is essential to seek medical attention if:

  • Symptoms persist despite home treatment.
  • The discomfort becomes severe.
  • The infection spreads to other areas of the body or affects multiple family members.

FAQs about Tinea faciei

Can tinea faciei spread to other parts of the body?

Yes, tinea faciei can spread to other areas of the body if proper hygiene practices are not followed or if the infection is left untreated.

Is tinea faciei contagious?

Yes, tinea faciei is contagious and can be spread through direct contact with infected individuals or contaminated objects.

How long does it take for tinea faciei to clear up with treatment?

The duration of treatment for tinea faciei varies depending on the severity of the infection and the chosen treatment method. In general, symptoms may improve within a few weeks of starting treatment.

Can tinea faciei be cured?

Yes, tinea faciei can be cured with proper treatment, which typically involves antifungal medications prescribed by a healthcare provider. It is essential to follow the prescribed treatment regimen and practice good hygiene to prevent recurrence.

Does tinea go away naturally?

Tinea faciei may not always go away on its own. Without treatment, the infection can persist and may even spread to other areas of the body. It is recommended to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How do you stop tinea from spreading?

To prevent tinea faciei from spreading, it is essential to:
Practice good hygiene, including regularly washing the affected areas with mild soap and water.
Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, clothing, or cosmetics with others.
Keep the affected skin dry, particularly in areas prone to sweating.
Seek medical attention promptly if symptoms persist or worsen, to prevent further spread of the infection.


Tinea faciei is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the face, causing symptoms such as red, scaly patches, itching, and burning sensation. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and promote healing. By practicing good hygiene, avoiding sharing personal items, and seeking medical attention when necessary, individuals can effectively manage tinea faciei and reduce the risk of recurrence.

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