Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Also referred to as tinea corporis, a ringworm infection develops on the top layer of skin. Characterized by an itchy, red circular rash that has healthy-looking skin in the middle, ringworm originates from a fungus, having no connection to worms.

Mold-like fungi that live on the skin cause fungal infections like ringworm. These microorganisms become parasites on your body. Highly contagious, you can spread ringworm via:

  • Human to human contact
  • Animal to human contact
  • Object to human contact
  • Soil to human contact

Similar Fungal Infections
Ringworm is closely related to several other infections such as:

  • Athlete's foot (tinea pedis)
    Usually develops in the moist areas between the toes and or on the foot itself
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris)
    Infection of the genitals, inner upper thighs, and buttocks
  • Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis)
    Most common in children, ringworm of the scalp causes itchy red patches that leave bald areas on the scalp

Common signs of ringworm include:

  • Red, inflamed, circular rash that has healthy skin in the center
  • Round, flat patch of itchy skin
  • Slightly raised, expanding rings of red, scaly skin on the trunk or face

Usually, mild cases of ringworm respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments like clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine and tolnaftate. After cleaning and drying the area, apply a thin layer of the medicine one to two times as directed. If the rash does not clear up within four weeks, your doctor may need to prescribe a stronger topical agent or oral antifungal medication.

Because the fungus that causes ringworm is so highly contagious even before the rash appears, preventing an infection is difficult. The following tips help reduce the chances of infection:

  • Frequently wash hands
  • Keep common areas clean
  • Never share personal items
  • Remain cool and dry
  • Stay away from animals with any symptoms



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Coast Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center
21550 Angela Lane
Venice, FL 34293

P. 941-493-7400