Ringworm is one of the most common skin conditions, especially in children. It is often marked by a scaly circular rash that is itchy and red with a clearer center. It is easy for parents to mistake this rash for eczema. However, ringworm and eczema are two very distinct skin conditions, and they should not be treated the same. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about ringworm – including what actually causes it, how it spreads and what treatment is needed.
We’re setting the record straight when it comes to ringworm. Here are Five Ringworm Myths that you can stop believing now:
- Ringworm is caused by a worm.
A common myth but one that has no truth. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is not caused by actual worms. In fact, there are over 40 different types of fungi that can cause ringworm.
- Ringworm is not contagious.
Unfortunately, this type of skin rash is highly contagious. It can spread through skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs) as well as by touching a contaminated surface (blanket, doorknob, hairbrush or other household item). You can even get ringworm from your family pet!
- Ringworm only affects kids.
While children are more prone to ringworm, this skin infection can appear on people of all ages and all skin types. Those with a lowered immune system are especially at risk.
- Ringworm is not the same as Athlete’s Foot.\
Ringworm can appear on various parts of the body, including the scalp and fingernails. When the ringworm rash appears on the feet, however, it is often called “Athlete’s Foot.”
- Ringworm doesn’t need a doctor’s attention.
While you may be able to treat some ringworm rashes with over-the-counter fungal infection creams, if your skin rash worsens or develops on the scalp, you need to see a dermatologist. Ringworm of the scalp can cause hair loss if not treated appropriately.
At Olansky Dermatology, we proudly treat all types of skin conditions for all ages – including common ringworm. There are many different forms of ringworm, so it is important that you let a skin care specialist evaluate you or your child’s rash and treat it accordingly. If you are unsure whether your rash is ringworm, eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis, let our dermatologists help instead of guessing at the remedy.