Diseases & Conditions


RingwormCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTypes

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm or Dermatophytosis is caused due to fungal infection on the skin. The infection results in the rash that forms red or pink rings on the skin.

Causes of Ringworm

Ringworms are caused by fungi and the infections caused by them. These fungi live in causing agents are called the dermatophyte, which means "skin fungi". Ringworms can be caused by physical contact between personals as this may transfer the fungi causing Dermatophytosis.

Medication for Ringworm

There are a wide variety of medications available for the treatment of ringworms. The following are some topical medicines that can heal ringworm:

  • Naftifine (Naftin)
  • Butenafine (Mentax)
  • Ciclopirox (Loprox)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Oxiconazole (Oxistat)
  • Sertaconazole (Ertaczo)
  • Sulconazole (Exelderm)
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex)
  • Miconazole (Monistat)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Under certain conditions, the topical Dermatophytosis medicines will not work. Then the patient would need to go to the systematic oral medicines. Following are some oral drugs:

  • Griseofulvin (Fulvicin)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Prevention of Ringworm

Ringworm is a disease that can be prevented instead of curing. It can be prevented by maintaining personal cleanliness. Keeping the body clean and dry always. It is better to avoid sharing clothes, bedding, towels, sheets, etc with others because ringworm spreads through contact. Washing clothing and beddings regularly can prevent the disease. Avoiding skin contact with people having the disease is precautious. Regularly cleaning the swimming pools is necessary. Avoid bathing in unhygienic pools. Hygienic living can prevent ringworms easily.

Risk Factor of Ringworm

The most important risk factors for ringworms are pets. They are always the carriers of fungi. Physical contacts like touching, hugging are dangerous. Walking with bare foot can bring ringworms in foot which is known as athlete’s feet. Sharing clothes, beddings, towels, sheets, etc also form the risk factors. Bathing in an unclean pool can cause ringworms. Moreover fungi are the risk factors in every case. People working in hospitals and crowded areas are in risk regions. People with poor immune system are easily affected by the disease.

Symptoms of Ringworm

The symptom of ringworm is mostly a red itchy area. This area is mostly red in colour. And the symptoms vary according to the type of the disease. The itching area differs often. Hair loss is also a symptom of the disease. The symptom also includes rashes over the skin layer. Skin lesion may also occur darker than the surrounding skin. There are various medical tests to diagnose this disease. These tests are done in the hospitals or labs having the testing devices.

Types of Ringworm

Ringworms are classified based on the regions of the human body they affect. The following are the types of ringworms:

  • Tinea pedis (athlete's foot) affects the feet
  • Tinea unguium affects the fingernails and toenails
  • Tinea corporis affects the arms, legs, and trunk
  • Tinea cruris (jock itch) affects the groin area
  • Tinea manuum affects the hands and palm area
  • Tinea capitis affects the scalp
  • Tinea barbae affects facial hair
  • Tinea faciei (face fungus) affects the face