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Transcript of Ringworm
Educate yourself and others. Be aware of the risk of ringworm from infected people or pets.
Keep clean. Wash your hands often to avoid the spread of infection.
Stay cool and dry. Don't wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm, humid weather. Avoid excessive sweating.
Don't share personal items. Don't let others use your clothing, towels, hairbrushes or other personal items.
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection caused by mold-like parasites that live on the cells in the outer layer of your skin. It can be spread in the following ways:
Human to human. Ringworm often spreads by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
Animal to human. You can contract ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm.
Object to human. Ringworm can spread by contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or animal has recently touched or rubbed against, such as clothing, towels, bedding and linens, combs, and brushes.
Soil to human. In rare cases, ringworm can be spread to humans by contact with infected soil. Infection would most likely occur only from prolonged contact with highly infected soil.
Ringworm typically begins as a flat scaly area on the skin, which may be red and itchy. This patch develops a slightly raised border that expands outward — forming a roughly circular ring. The contours of the ring may be quite irregular, resembling the wavy outline of a snake or a worm.
The interior of the ring may be clear, scaly or marked with a scattering of red bumps. In some people, several rings develop at the same time and may overlap.
Your doctor might be able to diagnose ringworm simply by looking at it. If the diagnosis isn't clear-cut, he or she may want to take some skin scrapings from the affected area so they can be examined under a microscope.
For a mild case of ringworm, you can apply an over-the-counter antifungal lotion or cream. Examples include clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) and terbinafine (Lamisil AT).