A common worry with ringworm is that you may immediately think you have worms, or this rash was caused by worms. In reality, neither is the case. According to Dr. Giacomo Maggiolino, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “Ringworm is actually a skin infection caused by a fungus. The name signifies the visual signs of this rash which includes a ring-shaped pattern that features a raised and scaly border.”
Ringworm has the ability to occur anywhere on your body. While the general name is ringworm, the area it is located on your body will change the name. If it occurs on your feet, it is athlete’s foot. If it occurs in your groin, it is known as jock itch. If it lands on your scalp, it is scalp ringworm.
How do you get Ringworm?
“Ringworm can happen to anyone, anywhere,” added Dr. Maggiolino. “It is not a regional problem. Your chances increase though if you live in a tropical area, spend time in hot and humid weather, or sweat heavily. It is also more common for people who play contact sports including wrestling and football.”
Ringworm is also possible to contract when you come in contact with an infected individual or animal that is carrying the skin infection. Ringworm is actually the most common skin disease seen in cattle, and is also seen in dogs and cats.
According to Dr. Maggiolino there are two parts to managing ringworm. The first is preventing it from ever happening, or happening again in the future. You can do this by staying cool and dry, avoiding wearing thick clothing for long period of time, and by not sharing personal items such as clothing and towels. The second part of managing ringworm is following an effective treatment plan. Ringworm is an extremely contagious skin infection, and it is important that you prevent spreading it to others. Without treatment, the rash tends to grow and cover a larger area or possibly infect other areas of your body. If you suspect that you may have ringworm, start by applying antifungal cream, ointment or spray for up to 4 weeks. If it persists or begin to cover a larger portion of the body, visit your local dermatologist to receive a stronger prescription cream or pill.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a dermatologist near me.