Ringworm is a fungal infection that is very contagious and spreads in different ways. Ringworm is caused by microorganisms called dermatophytes that live in the dead tissues of the skin or any other structures related to the skin such as hair or nails. In most of the cases the patches developed are round and flat with a clear center just like a ring, that’s why it is called ringworm. Ringworm which is also known as tinea, is a problem that can affect not only parts of the human body but also animals.

Symptoms may be different in every case but some general symptoms are known to be itchy, burning and flaky rash that is in circular shape. The skin might also be dry and scaly. In scalp ringworm the symptoms are round patches of baldness. In many cases ringworm of the scalp begins as a small pimple that enlarges to a round patch affecting the hair making it fragile. As the ringworm spreads its center area clears.

Being very contagious, ringworm may spread through different ways. It can spread directly or indirect contact. It can be spread from one person to another. And animals can develop ringworm too, so  there is a risk to catch the infection after a skin contact with infected pet. Indirect contact can also spread ringworm, the infection might be caught after getting in contact with contaminated items such as clothes, sheets and other personal things. In few cases, the infection might be a consequence of touching the soil.

Ringworm is not a serious infection. In most of the cases it can be treated easily. Complications occur if the infected patient has a weak immune system or if suffering from diabetes or AIDS. Complications may also occur if ringworm is not treated immediately. In this situation the infection can spread and become chronic. The infection lasts until the fungus disappears from the skin lesion. The simplest measure to avoid ringworm is not to contact with infected persons or pets.