"Ringworm" (Tinea Corporis) is a common fungal infection, especially among children, that can occur on various parts of the body. It derives its name from the ring-shaped, scaly and itchy patches of skin that occur when the skin becomes infected. The patches may blister or ooze fluid. Tinea Corporis is contagious and can be passed from person to person or through contact with contaminated personal care products, clothing or linens. Pets, particularly cats, can also pass on the infection.
In general, fungi are attracted to a warm, moist environment. Other common forms of ringworm (tinea) that are named according to the area of the body that they affect include:
- Tinea Barbae, which occurs on the bearded areas of the face and neck.
- Tinea Capitis, which occurs on the scalp.
- Tinea Cruris, also known as Jock Itch, occurs in the groin area.
- Tinea Pedis, also known as Athlete’s Foot, occurs between the toes.
Tinea Corporis generally responds well to treatment and will disappear in about four weeks. In addition to keeping the area clean and dry, you can apply over-the-counter antifungal powders, lotions or creams. In more severe cases, your dermatologist may recommend prescription antifungal creams or pills.