Ringworm is a common infection that results in circular-shaped rashes on the skin. Contrary to what its name suggests ringworm is not caused by a worm but rather a fungus that thrives on multiple surfaces.
Ringworm can appear on just about any part of the body. However, based on the location of the rash, it may be categorized by a different name. For example, ringworm on the feet is known as athlete’s foot and ringworm on the groin is known as jock itch.
Symptoms of ringworm vary based on location. They can include:
- Patches of hair loss
- Scaling of the scalp
- A small pimple on the scalp that becomes larger in size over time
- Thickened, discolored or brittle nails
- Flat-ring shaped rashes
- Red, peeling, itchy skin between the toes
- Red spots on the inner sides of the thigh
Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread by:
- Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person
- Contact with an infected animal
- Contact with objects or surfaces touched by an infected person
- Prolonged contact with soil that is infected
Some people are more at risk for transmission than others. Your chances of contracting an infection increases if you:
- Are in close contact with animals or people who are infected
- Share linens or clothing with someone who is infected
- Live in a warm climate
- Wear tight or restrictive clothing
- Have a weakened immune system
You can reduce your risk of getting ringworm by:
- Keeping your skin clean and dry
- Avoid sharing linens and clothing with an infected person
- Washing your hands after playing with pets with ringworm
Your doctor can diagnose ringworm by examining the infected area. You may receive a prescription for antifungal medications that may include lotions, creams or pills to treat the infection. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.