Ringworm (of the Body)


This is an infection that causes red, circular rashes on your skin. Ringworm of the body can affect the skin anywhere except your scalp, your groin, the soles of your feet and your palms. But ringworm of the body is just one of many forms of ringworm infections. There are other, closely-related infections such as jock itch and athlete's foot that can affect other parts.


These types of infections aren't caused by a worm. They are caused by a fungus that feeds on keratin. That's a protein found in your skin, your hair and your nails. With ringworm of the body, the fungus grows and multiplies in the skin's keratin, causing a rash.


If you have this type of ringworm infection, you may first notice a red, scaly patch on your skin. As the infection progresses, it may expand to form a distinctive ring-shaped rash. It may be raised and itchy. You may have more than one ring, and they may overlap.


You can usually treat ringworm with over-the-counter medicines that you put on your skin. If these products don't help, you may need prescription medicine. Your healthcare provider can create plan that is right for you.