Also known as: tinea corporis, tinea.

What is ringworm?

A ringworm infection is a very infectious and common skin rash presenting as one or more ring-shaped (with a clearish center, and a raised, rough scaly edge), pink/red patches, seen anywhere on the body, usually 0.5 to 1 inch in size caused by a fungus. It gets its name because the rash forms a circular appearance on the skin.

It's spread by contact with infected dogs or cats (and pet rodents), and there is an increased risk if you live in a warm climate, your child is malnourished, immunosuppressed by disease or treatments, and uses communal baths.

What causes ringworm?

A fungus called tinea corporis causes ringworm. It can be spread from other people (body to body contact required), from shared objects like combs or brushes, towels, clothing, sports equipment or fungus in the soil.

What are the symptoms of ringworm?

  • One or more red circular patches (usually mildly itchy) that may have additional bumps, small blisters or scales in the center.
  • Sometimes multiple rings occur that overlap one another.

What are ringworm treatment options?

Treatment usually involves a topical antifungal agent though oral antifungal medication may be required. Reinfection may occur.

Reviewed by: Ana Margarita Duarte, MD

This page was last updated on: August 16, 2021 10:43 AM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

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