Tinea corporis, commonly called ringworm, is a common infection caused by several types of fungi often found on the skin. It usually gets better with treatment.
More to Know
Ringworm isn't caused by a worm at all — its name comes from its shape. It typically appears as an itchy, scaly, circular red patch with raised edges and clear center. Ringworm does not have to be ring-shaped, though. It can happen anywhere on the skin, including the scalp.
Ringworm is contagious. It can spread from one part of the body to the other, from person to person, or between people and pets. People also can catch it from items contaminated with the fungus, such as pillows and sheets, clothing, combs, or brushes.
Keep in Mind
Over-the-counter or prescription topical cream or lotion (cream or lotion applied to the skin) usually takes care of ringworm. Someone with ringworm of the scalp, however, will need to take oral medicine (medicine taken by mouth) to cure the infection.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.