Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can cause a red or silvery ring-like rash on the skin. Ringworm commonly affects arms and legs, but it can appear almost anywhere on the body. Despite its name, ringworm doesn’t have anything to do with worms. Other similar fungal infections can affect the scalp, feet, groin and nails.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings. The centre of the ring may clear up, while a new ring of infection develops at the edge of the old ring.
What’s the cause?
Fungal spores are passed between people through direct skin contact and by sharing objects such as towels, hairbrushes and bedding. Athlete’s foot is commonly spread in gym and swimming pool changing rooms. Pets, such as dogs and cats, can have ringworm, and you can catch it by stroking them.
What are the treatments for ringworm?
Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication. These drugs work to kill fungi and prevent the condition from coming back. You may use the antifungal agent on your skin as a medicated shampoo, powder, cream or lotion; or you may be given a tablet so the medicine can spread throughout your body. You may also be recommended a combination of these treatments at once.