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Is Ringworm Infectious?

does-ringworm-always-itch

ANSWER:

Ringworm is infectious and commonly spreads between people who have close contact with each other.

More Info: Direct skin-to-skin contact can spread the fungus from an infected person to an uninfected person. In addition, sharing bed linens, towels, clothing, floors, hair combs and brushes can also spread ringworm between you and another person.

Symptoms and Spreading of Ringworm

In most cases, a ringworm infection will cause you to develop a circular rash on your skin that is slightly inflamed and red in color around the edges of the circle, while your skin in the middle looks normal. Less commonly, the rash looks like a flat, scaly patch of skin that intensely itches. In some instances, you can have a ringworm infection without any visible symptoms of the fungus.

Ringworm Risk Factors

Certain behavioral and environmental factors can increase your risk of being infected with ringworm. Coming into close contact with another person who is infected or playing contact sports like football where some skin is exposed increases your risk of ringworm infection. Excessive sweating and wearing tight clothing provides an ideal environment on your skin for the fungus to grow. Spending time in areas with high humidity levels also makes it easier to spread ringworm from one person to another.

Preventing Ringworm Infections

Even while you are treating your ringworm infection, you can still spread it to another person through skin-to-skin contact. To reduce your chance of sharing ringworm with another person, use over the counter anti-fungal skin treatments and apply them at least 1 inch outward from where the rash is located. Do not share any linens or clothing with others and wash and dry your clothing on the highest setting possible to kill the fungus so that it cannot be transferred to anyone else.

 

Resources

“Ringworm of the body: Lifestyle and home remedies – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ringworm/DS00489/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies>.

“Ringworm: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001439.htm>.

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