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Ringworm Symptoms: You Need To Know

By Sleat Desjards

Ringworm is called such because it generally curves in a circle on the skin. This circular rash looks somewhat like a worm. However, ringworm is not a worm but rather a fungal infection. Ringworm is caused by parasitical microorganisms which begin to grow on the body. The fungus similar to mold live off of the body’s skin cells. It is usually apparent on the surface of the skin and most of the time located on the trunk or arms. It can also appear on the feet, then called athlete’s foot, or the scalp.

This contagious fungus is passed by coming into direct contact with someone who has the fungus. It can also be carried by many domestic animals, especially cats. It can also be contracted indirectly by coming in contact with someone who may not have any visible symptoms, but who has otherwise been exposed to the fungus.

The first ringworm symptoms which usually appear is a small patch of skin that either looks pale, and becomes scaly looking; this area generally starts to itch and becomes irritated. Over time it will begin to redden around the outside and remain lightly colored and scaly inside the area. The outside ring will be raised and sometimes be in a perfect circle. Many times the affected area will also begin to bubble up with blisters which may begin to ooze with a clear liquid.

Ringworm symptoms can appear on any affected area of skin, depending upon where it came in contact with the body. If the ringworm is on the head it may leave bald areas. If it is on the nail areas of the hands or feet, nails may become brittle. They may also begin to turn yellowish colors.

Usually ringworm symptoms will subside with topical antifungal creams which can be purchased over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. If the rash does not go away within two weeks after general care and the use of antifungal creams, a doctor should be consulted. It the redness worsens or inflammation increases in the area it should be seen by a health care professional. Also if the area begins to have excessive drainage or you begin to run a fever, consult a doctor immediately.

Ringworm symptoms are usually easily treatable. However, as with any condition other factors can complicate it. In these cases always seek professional advice.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Desjards, Sleat "Ringworm Symptoms: You Need To Know." Ringworm Symptoms: You Need To Know. 12 Jul. 2010. 29 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Desjards, S (2010, July 12). Ringworm Symptoms: You Need To Know. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Desjards, Sleat "Ringworm Symptoms: You Need To Know"

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