Ringworm is very common, and anyone can get it. In this post, we offer information about what ringworm is, how it’s transmitted, what symptoms it causes, how it’s treated and how you can avoid it.

Before we go further, let us get one important piece of information out of the way — ringworm is a fungal infection, and no worms are involved. In fact, athlete’s foot and ringworm are caused by the same fungus.  

The experts at kalon Dermatology in Brooklyn, New York, can help if you find yourself with ringworm or any other skin infection. It can be alarming to realize you have a rash, but, in the case of ringworm especially, effective treatments are available.  

Cause of ringworm

The medical names for ringworm are tinea and dermatophytosis. When it’s on your feet it’s called athlete’s foot, and when it’s in your groin it’s called jock itch. Regardless of where on your body you have the rash, it’s caused by a fungal infection on your skin.  

Symptoms of ringworm

The most obvious symptom is a red, circular area on your skin. Usually the edge of the ring is raised and scaly, and inside the ring, your skin may be clear or have small bumps.  

If you have light-colored skin, the ring probably looks red or pink. On darker skin, the rash may look brown or gray.  

Over time, the ring may become bigger, or more patches may appear on other areas of your body. The rash is often extremely itchy.   

Treatment for ringworm

Since ringworm is caused by a fungus, the treatment is an antifungal cream, lotion, powder, or medication. If it’s a mild infection, you can often treat it with an over-the-counter antifungal cream, lotion, or powder. You need to use the treatment for two to four weeks.  

If over-the-counter products don’t work, we can give you a prescription for an antifungal medication that’s stronger than the over-the-counter preparations. In cases of more severe infection, you may need to take an oral antifungal for several weeks.  

Preventing ringworm

Ringworm is most often transmitted by direct, skin-to-skin contact. You can also get it from petting or grooming a dog or cat that has it. Coming into contact with an object that an infected person has touched, such as clothing or towels, can also cause infection.  

Since ringworm is very common and contagious before any symptoms appear, it’s hard to prevent. However, the following actions can help: 

If you notice signs of ringworm, don’t panic. Schedule an appointment today by calling or messaging kalon Dermatology. Early treatment often means shorter treatment. 

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