Unlike the name suggests, ringworm is not actually caused by worms, but is a fungal infection of the skin which produces large, round, and sometimes painful red lesions. Commonly affected areas include the toes and feet (athlete’s foot), the groin area (jock itch), the scalp (tinea of the scalp), and the face and chin (barber’s itch), but it can occur anywhere else where skin-on-skin irritation can occur and sweat is trapped.
Ringworm is highly contagious and can be contracted from touching another contaminated person, animal (pets and livestock), or even soil that is harboring the fungus.
Ringworm produces round, red lesions with a clearly defined center. Many rashes can resemble the appearance of ringworm, including Lyme disease, so it is important to consult a dermatologist to find appropriate treatment. Treatment of ringworm is most commonly a regimen of topical antifungal creams.