Merck Manual

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Quick Facts

Body Ringworm

(Tinea Corporis)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Nov 2018| Content last modified Nov 2018
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Ringworm is a common fungal infection of your skin or nails. Ringworm has nothing to do with worms. But the rash it causes can be ring-shaped. Therefore the infection has come to be called ringworm. Doctors call these infections "tinea."

What is body ringworm?

Body ringworm is a fungal infection that creates a ring-shaped rash on your face, arms, legs, chest, or belly.

  • Body ringworm can spread to other parts of your body or to other people if your skin touches theirs

  • Doctors treat it with antifungal cream or rarely pills

What are the symptoms of body ringworm?

Symptoms include:

  • Pink or red round patches on your skin with raised, scaly borders

  • Sometimes, itchiness

How can doctors tell if I have body ringworm?

Doctors can usually tell it's body ringworm by looking at it. To know for sure, doctors may take a small scraping of your skin to look at under a microscope.

How do doctors treat body ringworm?

Doctors treat body ringworm with:

  • An antifungal cream or lotion

  • Sometimes, medicine you take by mouth

If you stop using the medicine too soon, the infection may come back.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
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