What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common and highly infectious skin condition effecting up to 20% of the population. It is caused by a fungus and is often characterised by red circular “rings” on the skin.

Ringworm often causes itching and in some cases can blister.

What causes Ringworm?

Ringworm is caused by a fungus on the skin (despite have worm in the name it has nothing to do with a worm)

Ringworm is a very tough fungus and can survive on your skin or a household surface for months.

You can catch ringworm from;

  • Skin-to-skin contact with another person
  • Stroking or touching an infected cat or dog
  • Sharing towels, beds, clothes, hairbrushes or even household surfaces
  • From the soil, although uncommon and will take a long time

What are the symptoms Ringworm?

Itching is the most common symptom, suffers will often get patches of red skin which can grow in size, become scaly and blister.

Ringworm often affects the scalp which can lead to;

  • Itching
  • Patches of hair loss
  • Scaly/crusty skin
  • Small pus-filled sores and blisters on the scalp

Ringworm on the body;

  • Itchy red rings on the body which may be itchy
  • These rings may spread and grow in size
  • Blisters and sores on the skin

Ringworm in the groin (Jock itch);

  • Sores on the groin which may not be ring shaped, will be red-brown in colour
  • Itchiness around the groin (but usually not the genitals) especially in the crease of the thigh
  • Blisters and pus-filled sores
  • Scaly or flaky skin

Ringworm of the feet (athlete’s foot);

  • Itchy, dry rash in between your toes usually red and flaky.
  • Blisters which can ooze pus
  • Burning sensation in the skin
  • Cracked skin which can become crusty

Ringworm on the nails (fungal nail);

  • Thickening of the nail
  • A change in colour to white, black, yellow or green
  • The nail can break easily and even fall off
  • How can I treat Ringworm?

Depending on where you are affected by ringworm you may need one or more of the following to clear it up.

  • Anti-fungal creams
  • Anti-fungal shampoo
  • Systemic medicine (tablets) 

Our dermatologists can diagnose and treat all forms of Ringworm, offering you quick relief from symptoms.

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