May 10, 2018 Source: https://www.medicinenet.com

You wake up one day and notice round, red patches on the skin that might appear crusty. The patches start to itch, form blisters, and result in hair loss if the scalp is affected. You start to panic, desperately trying to figure out what exactly is causing your skin condition. A quick search on Google immediately tells you that you may have ringworm. You start to panic more, thinking to yourself that you might have "worms" in your body. But fret not, because ringworm infections do not actually involve

"worms" but rather fungal infections. The classic signs of ringworm infections include itching andswelling of the skin, and hair loss in the affected region.

As mentioned before, ringworm infections are caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Skin fungi live on top of the skin and cannot survive on mucous membranes (I.e. mouth). The fungi can live on many surfaces including, but not limited to, the skin, hair, nails, animals, or soils. Environments that are warm and moist are beneficial for fungal growth, which explains why they are commonly found in the groin and foot regions. Showers and lockers rooms are also great places for transmission. Person-to-person transmission can also occur with skin contact.

If you are concerned that you might be suffering from a ringworm infection, be sure to visit your healthcare provider. They can perform microscopic examinations to determine the exact cause of the infection. Primary care physicians, such as internists, and skin specialists are all trained in the management and treatment of ringworm infections. In serious cases, an infectious-disease specialist may also be involved. Treatment options include topical medications such as creams, and oral medications. Visit our team of primary physicians, skin specialists, and infectious disease physicians for your concerns.