Just hearing the name “ringworm” can conjure up images of disgusting creatures invading your skin, but ringworm is a misleading term. Caused by a fungus, ringworm’s signature scaly red rash forms a circle, which may roughly resemble the shape of a worm, but that’s its only connection to the slithering invertebrate.
If you think you have ringworm, head to Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in Holladay, Utah, for a professional diagnosis and effective treatment that will get rid of the problem quickly. Dr. Robert Topham and our team offer a wide variety of dermatological services and expert skin care that addresses all types of skin issues, including ringworm. Here’s what you need to know.
The truth about ringworm
Now that you know ringworm has nothing to do with worms, let’s move on to the rest of the details. Ringworm is a fungal infection that’s related to jock itch and athlete’s foot.
If you come into contact with the fungus, it nestles into the surface of your skin and causes a scaly, red, slightly raised ring to appear. You might notice it on your arms, legs, torso, or buttocks.
Along with the initial ring, you may see a second ring appear overlapping the first, and they may expand over time. Often, scattered itchy bumps appear inside the rings.
Where does ringworm come from?
The ringworm fungus is a mold-like parasite that loves warm, wet environments, which is why athletes and people who use public locker rooms and showers are prime targets.
But you can also get ringworm from wearing tight, sweaty shoes or sharing towels or bedding with others.
Ringworm is highly contagious. It can spread from human to human, animals to humans, objects to humans, and soil to humans.
How to prevent ringworm
The best way to avoid ringworm is to steer clear of public areas that have a moist, warm environment.
If you share shower space with others or use a public gym or locker room, never go barefoot, even in the shower.
Practice good personal hygiene: Keep your skin dry and clean, change your underwear and socks at least once a day, and wash your hands often.
Check your pets for signs of ringworm, and take them to the vet if you suspect a problem. Then, disinfect their bedding and all areas they frequent.
Athletes should never share helmets or other personal gear.
Getting rid of ringworm
The only way to get rid of ringworm is to use an antifungal medication. If you have a mild case, it may respond to over-the-counter topical creams.
If it persists, come see Dr. Topham. He can prescribe a stronger antifungal, such as FungiFoam® or Formula 3®. Both of these products contain tolnaftate and jojoba oil to penetrate your skin more quickly and get to work immediately.
Don’t live with ringworm; get rid of it for good. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Topham by calling us at 801-272-4408 today.