The rash may develop several red, raised rings at once, some of which may overlap. While ringworm can develop just about anywhere on the body it’s most commonly found on the arms, legs, and trunk.
Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection otherwise known as tinea. Ringworm most commonly affects the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot), or the groin (tinea cruris, or jock itch).
Ringworm may involve the hands, particularly the palms and the spaces between the fingers. It typically causes thickening (hyperkeratosis) of these areas, often on only one hand. Tinea manuum is a common companion of tinea pedis (ringworm of the feet).
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Is My Rash Ringworm or Something Else
Tinea of the groin (jock itch) tends to have a reddish-brown color and may extend from the folds of the groin down onto one or both thighs. Jock itch occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. (Other conditions that can mimic tinea cruris include yeast infections, psoriasis, and intertrigo.) Jock itch may occur due to sweating, hot and humid weather, or friction from wearing tight clothes.
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Ringworm of the Face (Tinea Faciei)
Ringworm on the face outside of the beard area is called tinea faciei. On the face, ringworm is rarely ring-shaped. Characteristically, it causes red, scaly patches with indistinct edges.
Despite its name, ringworm isn’t a worm at all. It’s a type of fungal infection affecting the skin, and often appears as a red, flakey and itchy patch of raised skin. The defining feature of common ringworm is the circular shape and red ring around the affected area. Since spider bites, certain types of eczema, psoriasis, yeast infections and Lyme disease can look nearly identical to ringworm, it’s important to see a doctor right away. If your rash is ringworm, a dermatologist can determine the best medications to clear it up.
Ringworm Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos
Ringworm is an example of a zoonotic disease (transmitted from animals to humans). Cats are among the most commonly affected animals. If a cat has ringworm, a person in the house often gets the infection. Dogs, cows, goats, pigs, and horses can also spread ringworm to humans. People catch ringworm from touching the animals, or touching their bedding, grooming items, saddles, carpeting, etc.
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Catching Ringworm From Pets
Ringworm is the most common fungal infection of the nails, also called onychomycosis. It can make fingernails look white, thick, opaque, and brittle, but more often toenails look yellow, thick, and brittle. Artificial nails increase the risk for tinea unguium as emery boards can carry infection, and water can collect under the artificial nail, creating a moist area for fungal growth.
Ringworm of the scalp commonly affects children in late childhood or adolescence. This condition may spread in schools. Tinea capitis often appears as patchy, scaling bald spots on the scalp. (Other scalp conditions, such as seborrhea or dandruff, do not cause hair loss).
Ringworm can be treated with antifungal creams containing clotrimazole (Cruex, Lotrimin), miconazole (Desenex, Monistat-Derm), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and terbinafine (Lamisil). In cases of severe or resistant infections on the scalp or nails, doctors may prescribe oral medicines such as terbinafine, itraconazole (Sporanox), griseofulvin, fluconazole (Diflucan), ciclopirox, or naftifine.
Your Rash Might Be Ringworm
There are many reasons that you might be dealing with a skin rash; however, if you suspect that it might be ringworm you may be surprised to discover that there are other conditions that can often masquerade as ringworm but aren’t. This is why it’s important to have any rashes or skin problems thoroughly evaluated by a qualified dermatologist. After all, you want to make sure that you are getting the proper treatment you need depending on the type of condition you’re dealing with.
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Does Ringworm Mean I Have Worms?
Sometimes a skin biopsy of the lesion or rash is required for a dermatologist to be able to diagnose whether it is ringworm or not. If you are experiencing symptoms of ringworm or are concerned about a new or worsening rash, then call your dermatologist today to schedule an appointment.
Ringworm is difficult to prevent, but here are tips to reduce your risk: