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Ringworm on Body (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Ringworm on the Body?

If the ringworm lesion fails to respond to over-the-counter antifungal medications (commonly used for athlete's foot) after one week of applying the medication, call a doctor. The doctor will make sure it is really ringworm and start prescription medication. It is important to have a physician diagnose this condition to treat it properly, as ringworm on the body can resemble other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Generally, ringworm infections are not emergencies. But if someone develops fever, increased pain, swelling, drainage, or redness, which could suggest a bacterial secondary infection of the ringworm lesion, go to a hospital's emergency department.

What Specialists Treat Ringworm on the Body?

A primary-care provider (PCP) such as a family practitioner, internist, or child's pediatrician can treat ringworm. You may also be referred to a dermatologist, a specialist in skin conditions, for further treatment.

If you experience an infection associated with ringworm, you may be seen by an emergency-medicine specialist in a hospital's emergency department.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Ringworm on the Body?

The diagnosis of ringworm is usually made by clinical exam. To confirm the diagnosis of ringworm, a doctor may scrape the lesion's active border with a scalpel blade. After placing the scrapings onto a glass slide, the doctor will check the sample under a microscope. This may be done only if the diagnosis is not obvious to the treating physician.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Tinea »

The dermatophytes are a group of fungi (ringworm) that invade the dead keratin of skin, hair, and nails.

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