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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Diseases & Conditions > Ringworm

Ringworm

Alternate Names : Dermatophytid, Tinea


Definition

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. Ringworm can affect skin on your body (tinea corporis), scalp (tinea capitis), groin area (tinea cruris, also called jock itch), or feet (tinea pedis, also called athlete's foot).

Often, there are several patches of ringworm on your skin at once.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Ringworm is a common skin disorder, especially among children, but it may affect people of all ages. Although its name suggests otherwise, it is caused by a fungus, not a worm.

Many bacteria and fungi live on your body. Some of these are useful to you and your body. Others can multiply rapidly and form infections. Ringworm occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails.

Ringworm is contagious. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or by contact with contaminated items such as combs, unwashed clothing, and shower or pool surfaces. You can also catch ringworm from pets that carry the fungus. Cats are common carriers.

The fungi that cause ringworm thrive in warm, moist areas. Ringworm is more likely when you have frequent wetness (such as from sweating) and minor injuries to your skin, scalp, or nails.

Pictures & Images

Dermatitis, reaction to tinea
Dermatitis, reaction to tinea

Ringworm, tinea corporis on an infant's leg
Ringworm, tinea corporis on an infant's leg

Ringworm, tinea capitis - close-up
Ringworm, tinea capitis - close-up

Ringworm, tinea on the hand and leg
Ringworm, tinea on the hand and leg

Ringworm, tinea manuum on the finger
Ringworm, tinea manuum on the finger

Ringworm, tinea corporis on the leg
Ringworm, tinea corporis on the leg

Tinea (ringworm)
Tinea (ringworm)

     
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Review Date : 5/1/2007
Reviewed By : Rachel A. Lewis, MD, FAAP, Columbia University Pediatric Faculty Practice, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.



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