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Can Ringworm Spread on Your Body?

can-ringworm-spread-on-your-body

ANSWER:

Ringworm CAN spread on your body.

More Info: Once you have the infection, scratching at it and then touching clear skin may cause it to spread to other areas of your body.  Ringworm is more likely to thrive in areas that are frequently warm and moist.

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common type of skin fungus that is highly contagious and can spread on your body if it is not treated.  While it is particularly common in children, it can infect people of all ages.

Fungus, Not Worm

Despite its name, ringworm does not have anything to do with worms.  It is caused by a fungus called tinea corporis.  It is also related to other tinea fungal infections including tinea pedis, which affects your feet and is often called athlete’s foot, and tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection of the scalp.

Catching and Spreading Ringworm

Ringworm is easily contagious, and you can catch ringworm simply by touching another person’s afflicted body part or even items such as clothing or towels that have come into contact with the infection.  Once you have the infection, scratching at it and then touching clear skin may cause it to spread to other areas of your body.  Ringworm is more likely to thrive in areas that are frequently warm and moist.

Preventing Ringworm

To avoid a ringworm infection, avoid touching or sharing clothing and other items with others who are known to have the infection.  If you work around other people or children, wash and sanitize your hands frequently.  If you will be in a shared area where people often go barefoot, such as a locker room, always were sandals.  In case you do contract a ringworm infection, treat it promptly with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams and avoid scratching the area so that it does not spread.

 

Resources

“Ringworm.” University of Maryland Medical Center |  Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2012. <http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/001439.htm>.

“Ringworm.” NYU Langone Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2012. <pediatrics.med.nyu.edu/conditions-we-treat/conditions/ringworm>.

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