View Table of Contents
- Ringworm Facts
- Is ringworm contagious?
- What does the term ringworm mean?
- What causes ringworm?
- What are the sources of skin fungi?
- What are risk factors for ringworm?
- What types of ringworm are there? What are ringworm symptoms and signs?
- Types of ringworm: tinea corporis and tinea cruris. What are the symptoms?
- Types of ringworm: tinea faciei and tinea manus. What are the symptoms?
- Types of ringworm: tinea pedis and tinea unguium. What are the symptoms?
- How is ringworm diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for ringworm? Are there home remedies?
- How can ringworm be prevented?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for ringworm?
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.