Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. It is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings.
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Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. It is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings.

Ringworm  is a common fungal infection of the skin and is not due to a worm. Ringworm occurs when a type of fungus called tinea grows and multiplies on your skin

The fungus that causes ringworm thrive in warm, moist areas. Ringworm is more likely when you are often wet (such as from sweating) and from minor injuries to your skin, scalp, or nails. Try not to scratch the rash, as this may spread the fungus to other areas of your body.

Ringworm can affect the skin on your:

  • Beard -- tinea barbae
  • Body -- tinea corporis
  • Feet -- tinea pedis (also called athlete's foot)
  • Groin area -- tinea cruris (also called jock itch)
  • Scalp -- tinea capitis

Ringworm is characterized by a red ring of small blisters or a red ring of scaly skin that grows outward as the infection spreads. The center of the ring may clear up, while a new ring of infection develops at the edge of the old ring. Keep the affected area clean and dry.

  • Children are most likely to get ringworm.

  • Ringworm of the scalp can spread from child to child when children share hats, combs, or brushes.

  •  Ringworm of the body can be spread on towels, clothing, or sports equipment.

  • Personal hygiene is important in preventing the spread of ringworm. 

  • Dogs and cats can be infected with ringworm, too, and they can pass it to people through direct contact.

It's really important, where possible, to prevent spreading the infection. You should avoid sharing towels, bedding or clothes with anyone diagnosed with ringworm.

You need to see your GP if you or your child have ringworm of the scalp.  Ringworm can be successfully treated with antifungal medications used either topically or orally.



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