Contrary to popular belief, no worms are involved (thankfully) when it comes to ringworm.

Ringworm is a rash caused by a fungal infection, and it can typically be treated quickly with an anti-fungal medication or other home remedies. Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team provides further information on this infection type below, so read on!

How Can I Know If I Have Ringworm?

Ringworm usually shows up as an itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle.

This skin infection is most often caused by mold-like fungi that live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair and nails. You can get it in any of these places, and you can also get it on your scalp and between your toes, which is what people call athlete’s foot. We’ve listed the common symptoms of ringworm below.

Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm

  • A scaly ring-shaped area, typically on the buttocks, trunk, arms and legs
  • Itchiness
  • A clear or scaly area inside the ring, perhaps with a scattering of bumps
  • Slightly raised, expanding rings
  • A round, flat patch of itchy skin
  • Overlapping rings

Is Ringworm Serious?

Since ringworm is a fungal infection, it’s extremely rare that the infection would spread below the surface of the skin to cause serious illness. The most serious this infection typically gets is when those with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, find it difficult to get rid of the infection.

Although ringworm isn’t a serious type of infection, it’s still not pleasant to experience. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent it, which we’ve listed below.

Ways to Prevent Ringworm

  • Keep clean. Wash your hands often. Keep shared areas clean—especially in schools, child care centers, gyms and locker rooms. If you participate in contact sports, shower right after practice or a match and keep your uniform and gear clean.
  • Stay cool and dry. Don’t wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm, humid weather. Avoid excessive sweating.
  • Avoid infected animals. The infection often looks like a patch of skin where fur is missing. If you have pets or come in contact with other animals, ask your veterinarian to check them for ringworm.
  • Don’t share personal items. Don’t let others use your clothing, towels, hairbrushes, sports gear or other personal items.

Think you may have ringworm and aren’t sure what to do about it? We can help, so don’t hesitate to reach out today!