Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Despite the name, ringworm is not caused by a worm—the term comes from the raised circular shape the rash may take. Tinea corporis is a fungal infection. It can affect people of any age, but is more common in children. A related form is tinea cruris or "jock itch"—a fungal infection of the groin area.

In addition to a raised circular rash, generalized rashes and scaling also appear. Ringworm usually begins as a reddish bump. As it grows, the interior seems to clear, forming the ring-like shape. Sometimes several rings develop and merge. Swelling and blisters may also appear.

Mild cases of ringworm respond well to topical medications. More severe cases, however, may require oral antifungals.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015