Ringworm of the body is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of your skin. It's characterized by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. It may or may not itch. Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance. There is no actual worm involved.
Also called tinea corporis, ringworm of the body is closely related to athlete's foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris) and ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). Ringworm often spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal.
Antifungal medications are used to treat ringworm. Mild ringworm often responds to antifungal products that you apply to your skin. For more-severe infections, you may need to take antifungal pills for several weeks.
July 24, 2013
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Goldstein AO, et al. Dermatophyte (tinea) infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Long SS, et al. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9&isbn=978-1-4377-2702-9&uniqId=399011628-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 16, 2013.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=$eid&isbn=978-1-4557-0295-4&uniqId=398813857-1936. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Goldstein AO, et al. Patient information: Ringworm (including athlete's foot and jock itch) (Beyond the Basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 30, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.