The best way to prevent ringworm is to keep the skin and scalp clean and dry. Avoiding infected animals and the sharing of personal items are also helpful in preventing its spread. Preventing ringworm is difficult, according to Mayo Clinic.
Ringworm is a fungal skin infection, according to MedlinePlus. The fungus grows in the scalp, beard, groin, feet and body. Touching another person with an infection or an item contaminated with the fungus allows the spread of the infection. Unwashed clothing, towels, pools and showers are potential sources of the fungus. Ringworm also spreads from pets and domesticated animals to humans.
The typical symptoms of ringworm include red, scaly skin with blisters that sometimes ooze. The infection tends to have sharply defined edges, and as it grows, skin in the center of the patch returns to a normal look, reports MedlinePlus. It takes on a ring-like appearance. If the fungus is growing in the hair, it causes hair loss in the affected area.
Treatment for ringworm includes over-the-counter cream or powders and prescription oral medication. Most people see improvement with the OTC medication, but infections under the nails and infections that fail to respond to OTC remedies sometimes require oral antifungal prescriptions, according to MedlinePlus.