Overview Of Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin infection due to a fungus. Often, there are several patches of ringworm on the skin at once. The medical name is tinea.

Commonly Associated With

Dermatophytid; Dermatophyte fungal infection – tinea; Tinea

Causes Of Ringworm

This infection is common, especially among children. But, it can affect people of all ages. It is caused by a fungus, not a worm like a name suggests.

Many bacteria, fungi, and yeast live on your body. Some of these are useful, while others can cause infections. Ringworm occurs when a type of fungus grows and multiplies on your skin.

The infection can spread from one person to another. You can catch it if you touch someone who has the infection, or if you come in contact with items contaminated by the fungus, such as combs, unwashed clothing, and shower or pool surfaces. You can also catch ringworm from pets. Cats are common carriers.

The fungus that causes the infection thrives 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.

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


Symptoms depend on the affected area of the body:

  • This is a red skin rash that forms a ring around normal-looking skin. A worm doesn’t cause it.
  • Scalp ringworm causes itchy, red patches on your head. It can leave bald spots. It usually affects children.
  • Athlete’s foot causes itching, burning, and cracked skin between your toes.
  • Jock itch causes an itchy, burning rash in your groin area.

Treatment Of Ringworm

Over-the-counter creams and powders will get rid of many tinea infections, particularly athlete’s foot, and jock itch. Other cases require prescription medicine.