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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

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.
  • Signs of bacterial infection develop. Signs may include:
    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
    • Red streaks extending from the area.
    • Discharge of pus.
    • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher with no other cause.
  • The rash appears to be spreading even after treatment.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.

You can treat ringworm at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. If symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment with this medicine, call your doctor.

Any persistent, severe, or recurring infection should be checked by your doctor.

Who to see

The following health professionals can diagnose and treat ringworm of the skin:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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