Ringworm is a skin condition caused by a fungus that gives you an itchy rash on your skin. It is not in fact caused by a worm, but named for the shape of the rash it causes. It can cause symptoms almost anywhere on your body and is the same fungus that causes athlete's foot and jock itch. The fungus is transmitted from person to person and you can also catch it from inanimate objects. Once you have ringworm, it is easy to treat but often people will have recurrent infections if they are exposed to the fungus.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Everyone is at risk for ringworm. Specific risk factors for infection include having a family member or pet with the condition, not thoroughly drying yourself after a shower or bath, infrequently washing your clothes, and sharing sports equipment or clothing with others. Avoiding all of these things is the best way to prevent the condition. If you have had ringworm before, chances are better that you will have it again.
RINGWORM (TINEA) SYMPTOMS
Ringworm on the skin looks like a small, red, circular rash that a clear center. The edges of the circle are often raised, and can have a scaly appearance. Symptoms can also occur on the scalp of children and can cause itching and hair loss. On the foot, it causes skin in between the toes to become itchy and red, with cracked areas. Symptoms in the groin usually start in the cervace of the legs and cause a red and itchy area in the creases of skin.
Diagnosis and Ringworm (Tinea) Treatment
A doctor can often diagnose ringworm based on its appearance, location, and your symptoms. More rarely, they will scrape a skin sample and examine it under a microscope or even have a specialist review the scrapings to confirm a diagnosis.
Treatment for ringworm varies based on its location. On the skin of the body, topical gels, lotions, and ointments applied several times a day for a few weeks are usually curative. Examples include terbinafine (Lamisil), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), and tolnaftate (Tinactin). These treatments are also used in ringworm infections of the foot and groin. For scalp infections, doctors often prescribe an antifungal in pill form, as the lotions and creams do not work well.
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat with your PlushCare doctor and show them your ringworm spots.
2. The doctor can call in a prescription and make recommendations on how to treat the infection.
3. Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy, and be feeling better quick.