Ringworm Infection (tinea corporis)

What is Ringworm Infection (tinea corporis)

Ringworm Infection is an infection of the skin that often causes a ring-shaped rash. Ringworm Infection can affect any part of your skin. It can spread easily to others. Ringworm Infection is also called tinea corporis.

What are the causes?

This condition is caused by funguses called dermatophytes. The condition develops when these funguses grow out of control on the skin.

You can get this condition if you touch a person or animal that has it. You can also get it if you share clothing, bedding, towels, or any other object with an infected person or pet.

What increases the risk?

This condition is more likely to develop in:

  • Athletes who often make skin-to-skin contact with other athletes, such as wrestlers.
  • People who share equipment and mats.
  • People with a weakened immune system.

What are the signs or symptoms?

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Itchy, raised red spots and bumps.
  • Red scaly patches.
  • A ring-shaped rash. The rash may have:
    • A clear center.
    • Scales or red bumps at its center.
    • Redness near its borders.
    • Dry and scaly skin on or around it.

How is this diagnosed?

This condition can usually be diagnosed with a skin exam. A skin scraping may be taken from the affected area and examined under a microscope to see if the fungus is present.

How is this treated?

This condition may be treated with:

  • An antifungal cream or ointment.
  • An antifungal shampoo.
  • Antifungal medicines. These may be prescribed if your ringworm is severe, keeps coming back, or lasts a long time.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • If you were given an antifungal cream or ointment:
    • Use it as told by your health care provider.
    • Wash the infected area and dry it completely before applying the cream or ointment.
  • If you were given an antifungal shampoo:
    • Use it as told by your health care provider.
    • Leave the shampoo on your body for 3–5 minutes before rinsing.
  • While you have a rash:
    • Wear loose clothing to stop clothes from rubbing and irritating it.
    • Wash or change your bed sheets every night.

If your pet has the same infection, take your pet to see a veterinarian.

How is this prevented?

  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Wear sandals or shoes in public places and showers.
  • Do notshare personal items with others.
  • Avoid touching red patches of skin on other people.
  • Avoid touching pets that have bald spots.
  • If you touch an animal that has a bald spot, wash your hands.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your rash continues to spread after 7 days of treatment.
  • Your rash is not gone in 4 weeks.
  • The area around your rash gets red, warm, tender, and swollen.
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