Ringworm is a common fungal infection.
Despite its name, it is not caused by worms.
A pharmacy will usually stock the correct medication to treat it.
How do I know if it is Ringworm?
The main symptom of Ringworm is a rash.
This rash will usually appear red, silver or darker than the surrouding skin area (This can depend on your skin tone)
The rash may also be dry, swollen, scally and/or itchy.
The rash may be less noticeable on darker toned skin.
Ringworm can appear anywhere on the body, this can include;
- The Scalp (Known as Tinea Capitis)
- Groin (Jock itch)
A pharmacist can help with Ringworm
Speak to a pharmacist first
They can inspect the rash to advise and recommend the best form of antifungal treament for you.
This treatment may be a cream, spray or gel. This will be dependant on where the rash is located.
You may need to use an antifungal medicine every day for up to 4 weeks.
It is important to use the treatment for the correct amount of time, even after the rash has gone away.
A pharmacist will advise you if they think that you need to speak with a GP
When should I see/speak to a GP?
- If the Ringworm has not improved/disappeared after using the antifungal medicine that was recommended by a pharmacist
- You have ringworm on your scalp. You will usually need a prescription for an antifungal shampoo and tablets.
- You have a weakened immune system (E.g. from Chemotherapy, Steroids or diabetes)
- Ringworm on the face or scalp may also cause patchy hair loss (ensure that you speak with a GP if this is where the Ringworm is located)
How have I caught it?
Ringworm is caused by a type of fungi.
It can be caught or passed on through close contact with;
- An infected person or animal
- Infected objects (Bedsheets, combs or towels)
- Infected soil (This is less common)
It is fine for you or your child to go to work/school once they have started treatment. It is advisable to let your child's teacher know they have ringworm, to reduce the chance of spreading.
Can I stop Ringworm spreading?
- Start treatment as soon as possible
- Wash towels and bedsheets regularly
- Keep your skin clean and wash your hands after touching animals or soil
- regularly check your skin if you have been in contact with an infected person or animal
- take your pet to the vet if they might have ringworm (For example, patches of missing fur)
- Share towels, combs or bedsheets with someone who has Ringworm
- Scratch a Ringworm rash (This could spread it to other parts of your body)