Tinea Corporis (Ringworm)

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. (It is not caused by worms despite the name) The infection, which is common in children, appears in scaly patches on the skin, often on the scalp (called tinea capitis). There may be many or only a few patches of affected skin and these may be mildly irritated or very itchy and inflamed.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because ringworm can look similar to other skin rashes, it is important to see a dermatologist to diagnose and treat the condition effectively.

  • Oral antifungal medications are generally effective for clearing a ringworm rash, though many weeks of treatment may be required.
  • Topical anti-fungal medications that are applied to the affected areas of the skin can be prescribed for patients who are not able to take oral antifungal medications, such as women who are pregnant or nursing, children, the elderly and people with liver disease or other conditions. These may be less effective than oral medications and improvement may take longer.

Tips to Prevent Spreading the Infection

Ringworm is highly contagious and is spread by contact with someone who has the infection or anything that has touched the infected skin.

  • Avoid touching a person who has the infection.
  • Do not share towels. Wash sheets, towels and clothes in contact with infected skin frequently.
  • Try not to scratch to avoid spreading the rash to other parts of the body.