What Are the Visible Signs of Ringworm on the Skin?


Quick Answer

Ringworm causes round, red, crusted patches to appear on the skin, according to MedicineNet. Some patients also experience patches of hair loss and scaling on the scalp. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection and is not caused by actual worms.

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Full Answer

Ringworm gets its name from the distinct, ring-like rashes it causes on the skin, explains WebMD. It is caused by a group of fungi known as dermophytes, which grow on the skin. Some patients also experience ringworm infections of the fingernails and toenails. Nails affected by the fungus appear yellow and thick. Occasionally, patients develop red bumpy patches on the skin rather than the ring-like rash most commonly associated with ringworm. When present on the scalp, ringworm may cause red, pimple-like spots to form.

Ringworm is very contagious, according to WebMD. It can be passed from person to person by sharing hats, brushes or combs. Because the disease is so contagious, physicians recommend staying away from people who have ringworm. When one member of the household has ringworm, it is wise for all members of the household to undergo treatment, whether or not they show signs of infection yet. Ringworm is treatable with oral or topical antifungal medications. Patients who have ringworm on their scalps may be prescribed anti-fungal shampoos.

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