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Ringworm is an infection that is caused by a
fungus. It is very contagious and can affect the scalp, face,
body, feet or nails. Ringworm affects both humans and animals.
Ringworm gets its name from the raised pattern the infection
forms on the skin. It looks like a circle.
Ringworm on the body begins as a ring-shaped,
flat rash. Gradually the ring becomes larger and spreads, with the
inside of the ring clearing. The outside of the ring can be either
dry and scaly or wet and crusted.
The signs include:
The skin is the most common place to find
Ringworm is spread by contact with infected humans,
animals and contaminated objects. Humans are most likely to become infected from contact with other people who already have ringworm via school playgrounds, gyms, contaminated clothing, bath mats, towels,
damp floors and showers.
Ringworm is very contagious and it is important
to avoid direct contact with the infected person or pet, and
not share personal items such as towels.
Ringworm is difficult to prevent because it is very common, and is contagious even before
the symptoms appear.
Ringworm can be treated effectively with most anti-fungal
medications. Early treatment is
important and your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise
It is important to:
Developed by the RCH Kids Health
Info. First published September, 2008. Updated November