Ringworm is a superficial skin infection, also known as tinea, that is caused by fungi, not a worm. It is so named because ringworm is characterized by a red ring of scaly skin. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how ringworm develops, what it looks like, its symptoms, treatment, and much more.
Ringworm of the Skin-Symptoms
Most ringworm infections cause a rash that may be peeling, cracking, scaling, itching, red, or have bumps on the edges that look like blisters. See an illustration of a typical ringworm skin rash. Symptoms of ringworm of the body include a rash.
Ringworm of the Skin-Cause
Ringworm infection is caused by a fungus. Fungi (plural of fungus) that cause ringworm live and multiply on the outer layer of skin. Ringworm is not caused by a worm or other parasite. Fungi are present everywhere in our environment.
Ringworm of the Skin-Topic Overview
Is this topic for you? This topic is about ringworm of the skin, groin, and hands. For information about other fungal infections, see the topics Athlete's Foot, Diaper Rash, Fungal Nail Infections, and Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard. What is ringworm of t
Ringworm of the Skin-When To Call a Doctor
If you suspect you have ringworm of the skin, call your doctor if:You have patches of skin that are itchy, red, or scaly with bumps that look like blisters, and they have not improved after 2 weeks of treatment with a nonprescription antifungal product.
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Minor Athlete Infections and Other Annoyances: How to Prevent and Treat Them
Herpes, athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, impetigo, swimmer’s hair, and more — find out how to prevent and treat minor athlete infections.
Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: Ringworm -- A Collection of Photos
Ringworm is a common skin infection otherwise known as tinea. It is caused by a fungus. While there are multiple forms of ringworm, the most common affect the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete's foot), or the groin (tinea cruris, or jock itch).
Picture of Ringworm
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.
Picture of Ringworm of the Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin. Fungi (plural of fungus) grow best in warm, wet places, such as the area between the toes.
Picture of Ringworm of the Body (Tinea Corporis)
Ringworm of the skin usually causes a very itchy rash. It often makes a pattern in the shape of a ring, but not always.