Public Health Fact Sheet
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a skin disease caused by a fungus. It is found on the feet (“Athlete’s Foot”), groin (“Jock Itch”), scalp, face or nails.
How is it spread?
A person may get ringworm by touching an infected “patch” on another person or an animal. It can also be spread by handling combs, towels or clothing of an infected person. Walking barefoot on floors contaminated with fungi can also spread “Athlete’s Foot.”
How is it treated?
- Ringworm can be treated with over the counter medications containing miconazole. Severe or persistent infection may require a prescription medication.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the medication.
- Launder bed linens, washcloths and towels in hot soapy water after each use.
How can we prevent Ringworm?
- Do not share combs, brushes, hair ornaments, hats, scarves, towels, washcloths, socks or shoes, or other personal care.
- Do not walk barefoot in public places. Use shower shoes or thongs in public shower areas.
- Clean floors in gymnasiums, dressing rooms, showers, and pool areas with an antifungal agent.
- Dry feet, especially between the toes, after bathing or swimming.
- Use separate towels and washcloths for each person in the home.
Symptoms of Ringworm
- Round patches of red, dry skin surrounded by red raised ring.
- Sometimes the ring has blisters or is crusted with blisters. Hair in the ring is broken or absent.
- As the patch spreads or enlarges, the skin in the center may appear clear.
- When scalp or beard is infected, you will have bald patches.