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Conditions and Diseases

What is ringworm?


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June 08, 2015 7:32PM

Ring worm is also known as tinea, and is caused by a fungal infection that occurs on the skin's surface. People used to believe that it was caused by worms on the skin. Ringworm is caused by dermatophytes, which are a bad kind of yeast (remember that there are different kinds of molds, yeast and fungi throughout the world, but not all cause problems on the skin. Dermatophytes are skin fungi which live on top of the skin or on its dead layer. Thus, they are usually not found in mucous membranes.

Tinea is microscopic and can live only on the skin, nails or hair. Some tinea species can exist on animal skin, while some live on the soil. Because of the variety of fungi, and the many things that people come in close contact to on a daily basis - it can be difficult to find out where the ringworm condition has stemmed from.

The fungi that causes ringworm thrives on heat and moisture, thus it is usually found in folds of the body and on the foot. Ringworm can cause the skin to itch and form red - like swelling and crusting. Some types of ringworm produce ring like spots.

If you have ring worm, it can be treated through topical anti - fungal applications or systemic treatment. Or, you can try a variety of natural and herbal products which may work and are safer in comparison to prescription medication.

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January 16, 2012 3:06PM

Ringworm is a common skin infection that is from a fungus not bacteria or a virus. There can be many of these over the skin at one time, or they can be singular. It can occur when tinea, or the fungus that causes ringworm, starts to grow under the skin and multiple. It is a red circular and sometimes scaly patch and where it is found determines its name.

Different Ringworms

According to A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, ringworm can be on the body in the form of tinea corporis, on the beard as tinea barbae, and on the scalp as tinea capitis. Ringworm on the feet, or tinea pedis, is athlete's foot. Ringworm on the groin, or tinea cruris, is called jock itch. These can spread easily and quickly, especially in areas of the body that are moist and warm. They can also spread during injuries or when you are wet.


Signs and symptoms of ringworm include bald patches if in the hair, and thick discolored nails that may crumble if in the nailbed. Other signs include patches that may blister and ooze and skin that is raised, itchy and raised. Red patches of skin may be redder on the edges and normal in the center of the circle, edges are defined. If you have had one type of the fungus (i.e. on scalp) you may be more prone for it to spread to other locations (i.e. the feet).

Treatment includes keeping dry and clean, avoiding areas where it is warm and wet like locker rooms and public showers. If you go to the gym, wear shoes in their showers. Wash sheets, pillowcases, and your nightclothes every day that you are infected with ringworm. There are antifungals that come in cream, powder, and lotion that may help. Find ones that have clotrimazole or miconazole for starters. Lastly, don't wear tight clothing that may rub and irritate skin, as it may spread the fungus throughout the body. There can be pills if there is a very serious case, or if it is lasting for a very long time.