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What causes a ringworm?

ANSWER

Despite its creepy-crawly name, ringworm (also called tinea) is not caused by any worm. The culprit is actually a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which can cause skin infections. Ringworm gets its name from the distinctive ring-like pattern the red spots often form on the skin.

From: Myths & Facts About Ringworm WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Nemours Foundation: "Ringworm."

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Ringworm Myth-Busters."

ASPCA: "Ringworm."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Ringworm."

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: "Ringworm."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on July 16, 2018

SOURCES: 

Nemours Foundation: "Ringworm."

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Ringworm Myth-Busters."

ASPCA: "Ringworm."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Ringworm."

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: "Ringworm."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on July 16, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Where does ringworm usually appear?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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