Q: Is ringworm really caused by worms in the skin?
A: No! Ringworm, or Tinea Corporis, is actually caused by a fungus. The term “ringworm” likely comes from the appearance of the rash, which can have a ring-shaped border around it and look like a worm with raised borders that snake around the edges.
Q: Is ringworm common?
A: Yes! Ringworm is very common in both children and adults. You have had variants of ringworm if you have ever had athlete’s foot or jock itch!
Q: Who gets ringworm and where?
A: Ringworm can appear anywhere, but common locations include the scalp, groin and the arms. In some locations like the hands and feet, the classic ring shape of the rash may be absent. Anyone can get ringworm, from young to old! The condition is commonly seen in those who have encountered an animal with ringworm infection and those who are active in sports like wrestling or who use public showers and facilities without taking proper precaution.
Q: How do I know if I have ringworm?
A: If you have a red rash that is circular and with edges that look like a crawling worm – it is likely that you have ringworm. Many times the rash is itchy, and often times it is also flaking. If you have any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your dermatology provider because ringworm is easy to treat; however, if left untreated it can spread!
Q: What treatments are available for ringworm?
A: There are many different creams, ointments, washes, and pills that can be used to treat ringworm. When you meet with your dermatology provider, they will assess your skin and determine the best course of treatment. In most areas the rash will clear up in 2-4 weeks; however, in locations like the scalp, nails, and others it may take longer to see things clear up completely.
If you think you or your child might have ringworm, you can make an appointment by contacting us today.
Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board certified dermatology Physician Assistant. She is currently accepting new patients in our Edina and Downtown Minneapolis offices.