Diagnosing tinea fungal infections 

Ringworm and other tinea fungal infections are usually easy to diagnose from their appearance and location.

Fungal scalp infections

Your GP will usually be able to diagnose a scalp infection after examining your scalp.

Knowing exactly which fungus is causing the infection is useful, because some antifungal medications are better at treating certain types. Your GP will take a small scraping of skin from your scalp to test in a laboratory.

You may be given an antifungal medication before you receive your test results. If the tests show that a different antifungal medication would work better, you will be prescribed that instead.

Ringworm and other fungal infections

Most fungal infections can be diagnosed by your GP after examining your skin and asking whether you have other related symptoms.

Further tests will usually only be needed if your symptoms are severe or if they fail to respond to antifungal treatment. If this happens, your GP may take a small scraping of affected skin for analysis in a laboratory.

Microscopic analysis will show if fungi are present and the specific type that is causing your infection.

Read about how to treat ringworm and other fungal infections.

Page last reviewed: 05/03/2015

Next review due: 28/02/2018