Author: Alyssa Sota, Manager
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a rash caused by a fungus that has infected your skin. (Despite its name, this rash is not caused by a worm or parasite.)
How does it occur?
Ringworm is spread by contact with an infected person or infected surface, such as clothes, towels, and bedding. It is more common among people participating in sports that involve a lot of contact with other people, such as wrestling. Children going to daycare and people living in crowded conditions are more likely to get ringworm.
Ringworm on the skin is called tinea corporis. When ringworm is on the feet, it is called tinea pedis, and when it is on the scalp, it is called tinea capitis.
What are the symptoms?
The rash caused by a ringworm infection is usually round or oval and has a raised border. It starts small and slowly grows larger. As it grows, the central part of the rash usually becomes clear. The rash may itch, and the skin may become scaly. There may be some small, pus-filled bumps. Over time the rash spreads from one part of the body to other parts. Ringworm on the scalp usually causes patches of hair loss.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and examine you.
How is it treated?
The treatment of ringworm depends on your health and how much the infection has spread on your skin or scalp. Most of the time putting an antifungal cream on the area of the rash, rubbing it in well, once or twice daily is all that is needed. It’s most important using the medicine for a week after you no longer see the rash to make sure it’s completely gone. You may be given an oral medicine that can clear the infection faster and allow you to participate in your sport sooner.
When can I return to my sports or activity?
In contact sports or activities such as wrestling, you may not participate while you have the rash. This prevents it from spreading to other people. If the rash area is very small, it may be covered with a bandage.
What can I do to help prevent ringworm?
Ø Wash all your clothes, towels, and bedding that may have come into contact with the infection.
Ø If you participate in sports such as wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, etc. make sure the mats are cleaned regularly.
Ø Wash your hands often.
Ø Stay cool and dry.
Ø Don’t share personal- care products or clothes with others if you or they have a rash.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.