What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a very infectious and common skin infection causing a ring shaped red rash.
Ringworm is most common among children, but can affect people of any age.
Picture of ringworm: Image copyright © Pulse Picture Library/CMP Images / Phototake — All rights reserved.
What causes ringworm?
Ringworm isn’t caused by worms. The skin infection, also known as tinea, is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Fungi are microscopic organisms that can live off the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails, much like a mushroom can grow on the bark of a tree.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings. The centre of the ring may clear up, while a new ring of infection develops at the edge of the old ring.
How do you get ringworm?
Children are most likely to get ringworm. Ringworm of the scalp can spread from child to child when children share hats, combs, or brushes. Ringworm of the body can be spread on towels, clothing, or sports equipment. Personal hygiene is important in preventing the spread of ringworm. Dogs and cats can also be infected with ringworm, and they can pass it to people through direct contact.