May also be called: Ringworm; Tinea; Epidermomycosis
Ringworm, or dermatophytosis (der-ma-tuh-fy-TO-sis), is a highly contagious infection of the skin, hair, or nails caused by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte. It affects people of all ages but is particularly common in kids.
Dermatophytosis is classified according to the part of the body that is affected. Athlete's foot and jock itch are two common forms of the condition.
Ringworm isn't caused by a worm, but gets its name from the appearance of the rash. Shaped like a ring, the infection is red and swollen on the edge and healthy-looking in the center. Either one ring or several overlapping rings can appear on the skin. These raised patches are scaly and itchy and may blister and ooze. Ringworm on the scalp can cause temporary bald spots. Ringworm on the nails can cause them to become thick, discolored, and brittle.
Ringworm is often treated with over-the-counter antifungal ointments. In some cases, doctors prescribe antifungal pills to be taken by mouth.
Scratching the affected area can sometimes cause a bacterial infection, which can be accompanied by a fever, pus, drainage, or increasing redness. If you see signs of a fungal or bacterial infection, contact your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.|
|American Academy of Dermatology Provides up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.|
|First Aid: Ringworm Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin. Here's what to do if your child has ringworm.|
|Athlete's Foot Anyone can get athlete's foot. Find out how to avoid this itchy skin condition in this article for kids.|
|A to Z: Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch) Tinea cruris, also known as jock itch, is a skin infection of the groin area caused by several types of fungi often found on the skin.|
|Ringworm Ringworm isn't a worm at all - it's the name for a type of fungal skin infection. The good news is that ringworm is easy to treat.|
|A to Z: Tinea Capitis Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp) is a fungal scalp infection that can be cured with medication.|
|Fungal Infections What do you think of when you hear the word fungus? Do you think of mushrooms? A mushroom is one type of fungus, but fungus is also a type of germ that lives on all of us.|
|Jock Itch Jock itch is a pretty common fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs. It is generally easy to treat - and avoid - by following a few simple steps.|
|A to Z: Tinea Corporis (Ringworm) Tinea corporis (ringworm) is a common skin infection that usually gets better with treatment.|
|Athlete's Foot Although the name athlete's foot sounds funny, if you have this skin infection, you're probably not laughing. The good news is that it is generally easy to treat.|
|Skin, Hair, and Nails Our skin protects the network of tissues, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else inside our bodies. Hair and nails are actually modified types of skin.|
|Tinea (Ringworm, Jock Itch, Athlete's Foot) Jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm are all types of fungal skin infections known collectively as tinea. Most are easily preventable and treatable.|
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