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Ringworm Symptoms and Treatment

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Ringworm Symptoms and Treatment

Ringworm is highly contagious and can cause itching and discomfort. It may begin as itchy, red bumps. Over time, the bumps expand to form a red, scaly patch that often includes a raised ring on the outer border.

The fungus that causes ringworm can occur on any part of the body. Ringworm is a skin infection with a slightly misleading name. The cause of ringworm is a fungal infection. The term refers to the ring-like shape that many people commonly develop.

You can easily get a ringworm infection from close contact with an infected person or animal. The fungus thrives in humid locations and damp areas.

Types of Ringworm

Your doctor may describe ringworm as a dermatophyte infection or dermatophytosis. Medical professionals also use terms that describe where the fungal infection is on the body. The most common types of ringworm are:

  • Tinea capitis: a ringworm infection of the scalp.
  • Tinea corporis: a ringworm infection on the body, including the arms and legs.
  • Tinea cruris: jock itch or fungal infection of the groin area.
  • Tinea pedis: a ringworm infection often called athlete’s foot on the foot or between the toes.

You can also get ringworm in your beard area or under your fingernails and toenails. Some people can develop ringworm on the palms of their hands. The classic, ring-shaped appearance is typical. However, the fungal infection may look different in other areas of the body. For example, jock itch may appear red or gray with flaky skin. Ringworm on your palms may cause the skin to itch and peel. Ringworm in your nails can cause the nails to become discolored and thickened.


Who Is at Risk for a Ringworm Infection?

Anyone can get ringworm if they come into contact with the fungus that causes it. However, some factors may increase your risk of developing this type of skin infection. These factors include:

  • Having an autoimmune disease or weakened immune system.
  • Having a condition that causes excessive sweating.
  • Participating in certain sports that involve close contact.
  • Using or sharing public locker rooms or showers.
  • Working in close contact with infected animals.
  • Working with contaminated soil.

Signs You May Have Ringworm

The most common sign of ringworm infection is finding a circular, scaly patch that itches. It often has a raised, round, or oval border. This fungal infection may appear pink or red in lighter skin tones and gray or brownish in darker skin tones. In the center of the ring, the skin may peel or flake when scratched. Ringworm of the scalp can cause the hair to fall out, resulting in bald patches. If untreated, the affected area can grow more prominent and more visible.

How to Treat Ringworm

Many over-the-counter antifungal medications can treat ringworm. You can find them as creams, powders, or gels that make them easy to apply to the affected area. But if your symptoms do not improve or clear up within two weeks, you may need medical attention. You may also need to see a doctor if you have widespread ringworm or another condition like an autoimmune disease.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care - Navarre

Get Professional Care at Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

If your ringworm symptoms persist or have turned for the worse, you should consult a doctor.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.