Ringworm is a skin condition that is often misunderstood due to its name. It is not a parasite or worm at all, but a fungal skin infection. The term is descriptive of the round patches with a raised ring border that are common with this type of skin disorder. The fungi that causes ringworm is similar to that which causes athlete’s foot, jock itch and nail infections. Our dermatology team at LM Medical NYC can provide ringworm treatment for our patients at our clinic in Manhattan.
Causes and Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that is contagious. It can be spread from contact with other people or other body parts with a fungal infection. The fungi that cause ringworm are attracted to warm, moist skin. While anyone can obtain ringworm on their skin from direct contact with someone else who has the disorder, it is more common with the following risk factors:
- Warm or tropical climates
- Sweating heavily or often (athletes)
- Wearing tight clothing
- Living in close quarters with other people
- Sharing a locker room, personal hygiene items
When you contract ringworm, the first symptoms include discolored rings or patches on the skin. Light skin can have red or pink patches, while darker skin may have brown or gray patches. The outside of the patch can have a raised, curved border, with a clear area in the middle of the “ring.” Ringworm tends to be itchy. The size of patches can grow and spread if not treated. Ringworm on the scalp or in the beard area can result in hair loss.
If you have symptoms of ringworm, it is important to see a dermatologist to seek treatment. Ringworm treatment can include topical and oral medications. Contact us at LM Medical NYC in Greenwich Village to schedule an appointment if you believe you have ringworm.