Ringworm of the Skin - Cause
infection is caused by a
fungus. Fungi (plural of fungus) that cause ringworm
live and spread on the outer layer of skin. Ringworm is not caused by a worm or
Fungi are present everywhere in our environment,
including on the human body. They thrive in warm, moist areas, such as locker
rooms and swimming pools, and in skin folds. You can get ringworm of the skin
by sharing contaminated towels, clothing, and sports equipment, and by direct
contact with an infected person.
Ringworm of the skin (tinea corporis) is most commonly caused by the
fungus Trichophyton rubrum, which spreads from one
person to another. It can also be caused by Microsporum canis, which is spread by cats and dogs. This type is less common but
causes a more severe infection.
People often get ringworm of the
groin ("jock itch") by accidentally spreading
athlete's foot fungus to their own groin area. People
with athlete's foot also commonly spread it to their hands (tinea
Some people are more likely to get (susceptible to) fungal infections than others. The
tendency to get fungal skin infections or to have them return after treatment
seems to run in families.