Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Ringworm can be successfully treated with antifungal medications used either topically or orally.
What does the term ringworm mean?
The term ringworm or ringworms refers to fungal infections that are on the surface of the skin. The name is derived from the early belief that the infection was due to a worm, which it is not. Ringworm is a fungal infection in the skin. Nevertheless, the name ringworm remains. Some of these fungi produce round spots on the skin, but many do not. On the other hand, many round, red spots on the skin are not due to a fungal infection. A physical examination of the affected skin, evaluation of skin scrapings under the microscope, and culture tests can help doctors make the appropriate distinctions. A proper diagnosis is essential to successful treatment.
The medical term for ringworm is tinea. (Tinea is the Latin name for a growing worm.) Doctors add another word to indicate where the fungus is located.
Tinea capitis, for instance, refers to scalp ringworm, tinea corporis to fungus of the body,
tinea pedis to fungus of the feet, and so on.
Ringworm occurs in people of all ages, but it is particularly common in children. Ringworm is contagious and can be passed from person to person by contact with infected skin areas or by sharing combs and brushes, other personal care items, or clothing. It is also possible become infected with ringworm after coming in contact with locker room or pool surfaces. The infection can also affect dogs and cats,
and pets may transmit the infection to humans. It is common to have several areas of ringworm at once in different body areas.
What does ringworm look like?
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 3/16/2012
Animals can also be affected by ringworm and may transmit the condition to humans. In this case, ringworm is an example of a zoonotic disease, or a disease transmitted from animals to humans.
Although catsare affected
by ringworm more than dogs, dogs are also commonly affected. In animals, ringworm causes raised, circular areas that frequently are crusted over and associated with