What does ringworm look like?

Written by lauren farrelly
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What does ringworm look like?
(CDC/Dr. Lucille K. Georg)

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, and it can appear anywhere on the body in multiple places at once. Ringworm is first visible 10 to 14 days after coming into contact with an infected person or animal. The skin infection is caused by a reaction to a fungus when it comes in contact with your skin. It is extremely contagious, but it does not cause any other symptoms or problems other than dry, red blotchy patches on the skin.

What Does Ring Worm Look Like?

As the name implies, ring worm is most often characterised by a red round ring on the skin. It can be a small patch, no larger than the size of a dime, or it can be much larger, around the size of a softball. Ringworm can appear darker or lighter on the skin depending on the person. The red spot(s) can be raised, and they often feel scaly to the touch. Sometimes it will ooze a puss-like fluid if it has been scratched repeatedly and the if the skin has opened. The rash can spread quickly, so immediate treatment is recommended.

What is the Treatment for Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common skin disorder that requires simple treatment. Over-the-counter anti-fungal topical treatments like Lotrimin or Lamisil can be applied daily to the area, clearing the condition within two weeks. However, some areas of the body may not respond to topical treatments. Ringworm of the scalp or near fingernails or toenails may not respond well to topical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal medication in a pill form such as Diflucan or Sporanox, which should clear the condition in about 10 days.

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