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Ringworm Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

When ringworm appears on the skin, it makes circular, reddish patches with raised borders. Eventually, the patches grow larger, and the centers of the patches turn clear, giving a ring-like appearance.

Symptoms of ringworm on other parts of the body vary, for example:

  • Scalp, tinea capitis —begins with small bumps on the head that grow larger and form a circular pattern
    • Hair may become brittle and break, forming scaly, hairless patches.
  • Hands, tinea manus —affects the palms and spaces between the fingers
  • Feet, tinea pedis or athlete's foot—may cause scaling between the toes, or thickening and scaling on the heels or soles
  • Nails, tinea unguium —causes fingernails and toenails to become yellow, thick, and crumbly
  • Groin, tinea cruris or jock itch—causes a chafed, reddish, itchy, sometimes painful rash in the groin
  • Body, tinea corporis —produces flat, scaly, round spots on the skin
  • Face, tinea faciei —produces red, scaly patches on the face

Ringworm symptoms on the body usually appear 4-10 days after exposure. Scalp symptoms will appear in 10-14 days.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine your skin. Ringworm is often easily diagnosed by appearance. However, symptoms may be similar to other conditions. A sample of the affected area may be taken for testing.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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