Ringworm

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    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.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    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.

Quick GuideRingworm: Treatment, Pictures, Causes, and Symptoms

Ringworm: Treatment, Pictures, Causes, and Symptoms

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 scaly spots on the skin, but many do not. On the other hand, many round, red spots or rashes 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 diagnosis and distinctions from other conditions. A proper diagnosis is best for 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. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 5/11/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Lesher Jr., Jack L. "Tinea Corporis." Medscape.com. Dec. 9, 2013. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1091473-overview>.

Rashid, Rashid M. "Tinea in emergency medicine." Medscape.com. Mar. 9, 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/787217-overview>.

Rashid, Rashid M., and Andrew C. Miller. "Tinea." eMedicine. Dec. 10, 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/787217-overview>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Ringworm." Dec. 4, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/>.

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