Information on Ringworm

  • Ringworm is a mild fungal infection of the skin and is easily treated. Typically, ringworm appears as a flat, growing, ring-shaped rash. The edges of the circle are usually reddish and may be raised, scaly, and itchy; the center of the circle is often clear. Another type of ringworm fungus causes skin color to become lighter in flat patches, especially on the trunk and face. On the scalp, ringworm infection typically begins as a small bump and spreads outward, leaving scaly patches of temporary hair loss.

    Treatment: An antifungal ointment is typically applied to the skin for several weeks. Occasionally, oral antifungal medicine is prescribed, particularly if the diagnosis is ringworm of the scalp.

    School attendance guidelines: Students with ringworm will be dismissed from school, but may return as soon as treatment has begun. Affected areas of the body should be loosely covered with gauze, bandage, or clothing to prevent shedding of infected scales.

    Ringworm is spread when infected skin comes in direct contact with healthy skin or infected skin flakes fall and are touched by other people. A person with ringworm is infectious as long as the fungus is present in the infected area.