At any given time, a person has dead tissues in their hair, skin, and nails. Mold invades these tissues and sometimes causes an infection known as ringworm. Fungal infections that affect the areas between the toes, called athlete’s foot, is a form of ringworm. A ringworm infection that spreads to the groin is known as jock itch.

Ringworm Symptoms

Ringworm symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is affected. The most common ringworm symptom is a ring-shaped rash on the skin. First, red patches appear on light skin. On skin of color, these patches may appear gray or brown. The patches will begin to itch and eventually turn into a rash. Sometimes, the rash spreads and creates several rings on the skin.

When ringworm affects the scalp, it may cause the hair to fall out, and the scalp may be sore or tender to the touch. Scalp ringworm often starts as a flaky bump or sore.

Ringworm Causes

Around 40 different types of fungus can cause ringworm infections. Fungi live on the skin, on several surfaces, and in the soil, where they appear as spores.

Ringworm is highly contagious and spreads quickly between people who share personal items like towels and hairbrushes. Ringworm can also spread from animal to human, object to human, or soil to human.

Those who live in a humid environment and play contact sports are most at risk of getting a ringworm infection. Other risk factors include:

  • Using public gyms, showers, and locker room
  • Not washing hands after petting dogs and cats
  • Wearing tight shoes and clothes
  • Being diabetic or overweight
  • A weakened immune system

Diagnosing Ringworm

Some medical practitioners use a black light to examine the skin when diagnosing ringworm. They do this because certain kinds of fungi glow under black light.

A doctor may also request a fungal culture or skin biopsy to test for ringworm infection.

ringworm treatment

How to Treat Ringworm

Most people want to know how to treat ringworm at home if they suspect a fungal infection. While a person may treat a rash with antifungal creams, they should consult a doctor if their ringworm symptoms don’t improve after a few days.

Doctors often prescribe oral antifungal medication for ringworm scalp infections or an infection that spreads over the skin. Antifungal shampoo may also help prevent ringworm from spreading over the scalp.

How to Prevent Ringworm

Practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent ringworm infections. Regular cleansing, bathing, and wearing clean underwear and socks will help prevent groin and foot infections.

Moreover, keeping nails clean, drying off properly after a shower, and not sharing sports items also help prevent ringworm infections.

Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes in a public shower is a crucial prevention tactic, as is disinfecting gym equipment before use.

PRESNow Urgent & Emergency Care

Visit PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Clinics for Ringworm Treatment

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.