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Ringworm of the Skin (cont.)

What Happens

Ringworm of the skin can start as a small patch of itchy, red, or scaling skin. The rash can spread and cover a large area.

Clothing that rubs the skin can irritate the rash. Sweat, heat, or moisture in the air (humidity) can make the itching and infection worse.

As the infection becomes worse, the ring-shaped patternClick here to see an illustration. and red-brown color may become more visible. If not treated, the skin can become irritated and painful. Skin blisters and cracks can become infected with bacteria and require antibiotics.

Ringworm can also spread to other parts of the body, including the feet, nails, scalp, or beard.

After treatment, the rash will go away. But ringworm can return unless you follow steps to prevent it. The tendency to get fungal skin infections or to have them return after treatment seems to run in families.

What Increases Your Risk

Your risk of getting ringworm is higher if:

  • You come in contact with a person who has a fungal infection or with a carrier, a person who has the fungi but does not have symptoms.
  • You are susceptible to fungal infections or you have had a previous fungal infection.
  • You have an impaired immune system due to a disease such as diabetes or cancer.
  • You live in a warm, damp climate.
  • You wear tight-fitting clothes or you let your skin stay damp for long periods, such as by staying in a wet bathing suit or sweaty workout clothes.
  • You are a wrestler.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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