Ringworm is caused by a fungus, not a worm.
Previous Next 5 of 8 Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis)

Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis) is a fungal infection that can cause an itchy, circular rash. Ringworm gets its name because of its ring shape — there is no worm under the skin. The ring grows outward as the infection spreads, sometimes developing as overlapping circles or in separate areas of the body or in a pattern that's not ring-shaped at all.

Ringworm often spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal. Mild ringworm often responds to antifungal medications applied to the skin.

A tinea infection in the groin is called jock itch (tinea cruris). A tinea infection of the foot is called athlete's foot (tinea pedis).

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

See more Multimedia Oct. 13, 2022