Can Ringworm Spread to Other Parts of the Body?

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Ringworm is highly contagious and can easily be spread to other parts of the body by just touching the affected areas, according to WebMD. Caused by a fungus, ringworm is transmittable by skin-to-skin contact as well as by sharing personal items, such as towels and clothing.

Ringworm can be present on the face, body and scalp. The same fungus on the feet is called “athlete’s foot”; on the groin, it is called “jock itch.” The fungus that causes ringworm is most common in warm, wet areas. It is most transmittable when the patient is wet, especially from sweating or when the skin, scalp or nails have minor injuries that allow the fungus to enter. Characterized by red, scaly raised patches of skin that are itchy, ringworm is most commonly diagnosed by sight, but can also be confirmed with laboratory tests, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus.

Ringworm is treated using an antifungal cream and by keeping the skin clean and dry. While undergoing treatment to clear the skin, it is important to change and wash bedding daily to prevent re-infection. For more serious cases of ringworm, antifungal pills and a topical antibiotic may be necessary to help clear the infection, according to Medline Plus.