Worms don’t cause ringworm. Rather, this superficial skin infection, also known as tinea, is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Fungi are microscopic organisms that can live off the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails, much like a mushroom can grow on the bark of a tree.
Ringworm is characterized by a red ring of small blisters or a red ring of scaly skin that grows outward as the infection spreads. Though children are especially susceptible to catching ringworm, it can affect adults as well.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings. The center of the ring may clear up, while a new ring of infection develops at the edge of the old ring.
Children are most likely to get ringworm. Ringworm of the scalp can spread from child to child when children share hats, combs, or brushes. Ringworm of the body can be spread on towels, clothing, or sports equipment. Personal hygiene is important in preventing the spread of ringworm. Dogs and cats can be infected withringworm, too, and they can pass it to people through direct contact.
* To care for ringworm
* Keep your skin clean and dry.
* Apply over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, lotions, or creams that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar ingredients.
* Don’t wear clothing that rubs against and irritates the area.
* Wash sheets and nightclothes every day while you are infected.
* Your health care provider may prescribe pills to treat the fungus if you have:
* A severe case of ringworm
* Ringworm that keeps coming back or that lasts for a long time
* Ringworm in your hair
You may need medicines such as ketoconazole, which are stronger than over-the-counter products. You may also need antibiotics to treat skin infections from strep or staph that are caused by scratching the area.
Infected pets also should be treated.