What Do I Need to Know About Ringworm?

Thankfully, ringworm isn’t quite as scary as it sounds. This skin fungus doesn’t actually have anything to do with worms at all, and it’s highly treatable.

Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team provides more information on ringworm below, so keep reading!

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a rash caused by a fungal infection. It’s usually an itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance—not because a worm is involved, as we said earlier.

Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis) is related to athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris) and ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). Ringworm often spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal. We’ve listed its most common symptoms below.

Common Symptoms of Ringworm

  • A scaly ring-shaped area, typically on the buttocks, trunk, arms and legs
  • Itchiness
  • A clear or scaly area inside the ring, perhaps with a scattering of bumps whose color ranges from red, brown to gray
  • Slightly raised, expanding rings
  • A round, flat patch of itchy skin
  • Overlapping rings

Is Ringworm Contagious?

Actually, yes, ringworm is very contagious. It can be transferred from person to person by direct contact (skin to skin) and also by indirect contact, such as touching an infected person’s clothing. It can even be contracted by touching a bench or other object that has contacted an infected person’s skin.

Because ringworm is highly contagious, it’s important to uphold sanitary habits. We’ve listed some ways to prevent ringworm below.

Ways to Prevent Ringworm

  • Keep clean. Wash your hands often. Keep shared areas clean—especially in schools, child care centers, gyms and locker rooms. If you participate in contact sports, shower right after practice or a match and keep your uniform and gear clean.
  • Stay cool and dry. Don’t wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm, humid weather. Avoid excessive sweating.
  • Avoid infected animals. The infection often looks like a patch of skin where fur is missing. If you have pets or other animals, ask your veterinarian to check them for ringworm.
  • Don’t share personal items. Don’t let others use your clothing, towels, hairbrushes, sports gear or other personal items.

Whether you think you may have ringworm or want to learn more about this type of fungal infection, our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team is here for you! Don’t hesitate to visit us today.