What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is an infection of the skin and it is also known as tinea.  It is caused by microscopic organisms called fungi that live off of your dead tissues on your nails, skin and hair.

It can be recognized by small blisters and scaly skin and it can spread quite easily. When it spreads it looks like red rings.  Adults can get ringworm but it is most common in children. It is contagious and can be spread by sharing clothing, towels and other items.  Animals can also get ringworm and they can spread it to people via direct contact.

What are the Symptoms of Ringworm?

The most common symptom of ringworm is the itchy rash that usually forms a ring.  It may not appear as a ring though and can just appear to be a rash. The skin becomes scaly and dry and very thick.  Skin between fingers might be open and moist.

How is Ringworm Treated?

Ringworm can be treated with creams that can be purchased over-the-counter and applied at home.  Sometimes the rash clears up quickly but you should treat the infected area for as long as the instructions or your doctor tells you to prevent it from reappearing.

Some cases of ringworm may require a prescription to get rid of the fungus. Antibiotics are necessary if the infection has continued for too long and the skin has cracked and become infected.

Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
August 23, 2017