Public Health Fact Sheet

What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a skin disease caused by a fungus. It is called "Ringworm" because it can cause a circular rash (shaped like a ring) that is usually red and itchy.  Anyone can get Ringworm.  Ringworm goes by many names.  Other names for Ringworm are based on its location of the body - for example, Ringworm on the feet is also called "athlete’s foot".

How is Ringworm spread?
A person may get ringworm by touching an infected “patch” on another person or an animal. It can also be spread by handling personal items of an infected person such as, towels, clothing or combs. Walking barefoot on floors contaminated with fungi can also spread “athlete’s foot.”

How is Ringworm treated?
Ringworm can be treated with over the counter medications containing an antifungal call miconazole. Severe or persistent infection may require a prescription medication.  Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the medication.  Wash bed linens, washcloths, and towels in hot soapy water after each use.

How can Ringworm be prevented?
Do not share personal items such as, combs, brushes, hats, scarves, towels, washcloths, socks or shoes, etc.  Do not walk barefoot in public places like locker rooms or pools. Wear shower shoes or sandals in public shower areas.  Dry your feet, especially between the toes, after bathing or swimming.  Use separate towels and washcloths for each person in the home. 

Additional information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/

Symptoms of Ringworm

  • Round patches of red, dry skin surrounded by red raised ring often times with blisters or crusting
  • Itching
  • Hair loss in the affected area

February 2020