Fungal infection

Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin estimated to affect 10 to 20% of people in their lifetime. Despite its name, it has no connection to worms. Its medical name is tinea corporis.


The main symptom of ringworm is a ring-like rash which can be dry, scaly, itchy or swollen. The rash can be red, silver or darker than your usual skin colour. It can be found all over your body and often affects the arms and legs.


The main symptom of ringworm is an itchy and inflamed ring-like rash that can be red, silvery in colour or darker than your skin tone. The edge of the rash is usually darker and more scaly than the centre's healthy skin, making it look like a ring. The ring gets more prominent as the rash spreads.


Ringworm is a fungal infection. Fungi called dermatophytes, which live off tissues in your skin, and cause ringworm. The fungi can survive on your skin or household objects such as towels and soil.


A ringworm infection starts when you get the fungi spores on your body. Spores spread in different ways:


  • Person-to-person contact
  • Animal to person contact
  • Object to person contact (eg, towels, combs, bed linen)
  • Soil to person contact (through prolonged contact with infected soil)

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