Ringworm is a contagious eruption of the skin characterized by a circular, red rash whose interior may appear healthy or contain small patches of red, bumpy skin. Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection, not an actual worm, and is generally spread from person to person through physical contact.
What are the symptoms?
The “ring” in ringworm is a raised patch of circular skin – the ring – that is usually red and scaly and may itch. Inside the ring, the skin may appear to be healthy, or it could contain patches of small, red bumps. Several rings may appear at one time and the circular borders may intersect.
Who gets it?
- People who come into physical contact with someone who has ringworm
- People who come into physical contact with an animal that has ringworm
- People who come into physical contact with an object infected by someone who has ringworm, such as a towel
- People who are more likely to contract ringworm are those under 15 years of age and those whose work or lifestyle brings them into contact with other, potentially infected, people. Tight-fitting clothing may also increase the likelihood of developing ringworm.
Most cases of ringworm are treated with antifungal creams. In more severe cases, oral antifungal medication may be in order.