Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Overview of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Ringworm Meaning in Urdu

یہ بیماری ایک فنگل انفیکشن ہے جو کہ جِلد کو متاثر کرتی ہے۔ اسے رنگ ورم اس لیے کہا جاتا ہے کیوں کہ اس کی وجہ سے جِلد پر گول ریش نمودار ہو جاتا ہے۔ اس ریش کی رنگت عام طور پر سرخ ہوتی ہے اور یہ خارش کا باعث بھی بنتا ہے۔ اس انفیکشن سے متاثرہ افراد کو بالچر کا بھی سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔ جِلد کی اس انفیکشن کی وجہ بننے والی فنگس جب جِلد پر حملہ آور ہوتی ہے تو چار سے چودہ دنوں تک اس کی علامات ظاہر ہو جاتی ہیں۔ اس فنگل انفیکشن کے علاج کے لیے اینٹی فنگل کریمز، لوشنز، اور پاؤڈر وغیرہ استعمال کیے جاتے ہیں۔


Ringworm, known as tinea corporis, is a common fungal infection affecting the skin. Despite its name, a worm does not cause ringworm, but a type of fungi dermatophytes, which feed on the dead outer layers of the skin. 

Ringworm usually appears as a red, circular rash on the skin that can be itchy and uncomfortable. The rash may be raised or scaly and often has a clear or slightly raised center, giving it a ring-like appearance, from where ringworm gets its name. Ringworm can affect any body part, but it most commonly occurs on the arms, legs, chest, and back.

Prevalence of Ringworm

The fungus can affect anyone at any age and can cause fungal infections of the skin, nails, or both. Ringworm is particularly contagious in children. Research shows that 20-25% of the global population is susceptible to ringworm.

Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Ringworm symptoms begin after 4-14 days of contacting the fungus. These vary depending on the type of infection and the severity of the condition. However, in general, ringworm can cause the following symptoms:

  • Red, circular rash: Ringworm typically appears as a red, circular rash on the skin. The rash may be raised or scaly and often has a clear or slightly raised center, giving it a ring-like appearance.
  • Itching: The affected area may be itchy and uncomfortable, and scratching can cause the rash to spread.
  • Scaling: The skin may become dry and scaly and peel or flake off in patches.
  • Blisters: In some cases, the rash may develop into blisters, which can be painful and may ooze or crust over.
  • Hair loss: If ringworm affects the scalp, it can cause hair loss in the affected area.
  • Thickened nails: If ringworm affects the nails, they may become thick, discolored, and brittle.

It is important to note that the symptoms of ringworm can be similar to other skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. If you suspect you have ringworm, consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

There are several types of ringworm, each named for the part of the body that gets affected:

  • Tinea corporis: This is the most common type of ringworm, which affects the skin on the body, including the arms, legs, and trunk.
  • Tinea pedis: Also known as athlete's foot, this ringworm type affects the skin on feet, particularly between the toes.
  • Tinea cruris: Also known as jock itch, this type of ringworm affects the skin in the groin area, including the inner thighs and buttocks.
  • Tinea capitis: This type of ringworm affects the scalp and hair and is more common in children than adults.
  • Tinea barbae: This type of ringworm affects the skin under the beard and mustache area.
  • Tinea unguium: Also known as onychomycosis, this type affects the nails, causing them to become thick, discolored, and brittle.
  • Tinea faciei: This type of ringworm affects the face, particularly the beard area in men and the cheeks in women.

Causes of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Several species of dermatophytes can cause ringworm:

  • Trichophyton rubrum: This is the most common cause of ringworm. It can affect the feet (athlete's foot), nails (onychomycosis), scalp (tinea capitis), groin (jock itch), and other parts of the body.
  • Microsporum canis: This is a common cause of ringworm in cats and dogs. Humans can get it through contact with an infected dog or cat. 
  • Trichophyton mentagrophytes: This is a common cause of ringworm in cattle, horses, and other animals. Humans can get it through contact with infected animals. 

Ringworm is highly contagious and transmits through direct contact with an infected person or animal. It also transmits through contact with contaminated surfaces such as towels, clothing, or bedding. 

People with weakened immune systems and HIV/AIDS are at a higher risk of developing ringworm. Poor hygiene, excessive sweating, and tight-fitting clothing can also increase the risk of developing ringworm.


Risk Factors of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing ringworm, including:

  • Close contact with infected people or animals: Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected person or animal.
  • Using shared personal items: Sharing items such as towels, clothing, and combs with someone having ringworm can increase the risk of infection.
  • Having a weakened immune system: People who have weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy, are more susceptible to developing ringworm.
  • Living in warm and humid environments: Ringworm thrives in warm and humid climates. Living in such environments can increase the risk of infection.
  • Engaging in certain sports: Certain sports, such as wrestling, can increase the risk of developing ringworm due to close contact with others and shared equipment.
  • Poor hygiene: Failing to wash your hands or take regular showers can increase the risk of developing ringworm.
  • Wearing tight clothes: Wearing tight clothes, particularly in areas where the skin rubs together, can create a warm and moist environment conducive to ringworm growth.

It is essential to take precautions to reduce the risk of ringworm, such as practicing good hygiene, avoiding contact with infected people or animals, and keeping the skin clean and dry.

Complications of Ringworm

If left untreated or if the infection spreads to other parts of the body, it can lead to several complications, including:

  • Skin infections: Ringworm can cause skin infections such as impetigo, a bacterial infection that causes red sores, or cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that can cause redness, swelling, and warmth in the affected area.
  • Scarring: In some cases, ringworm can cause scarring, especially if the infection is severe or located on the scalp.
  • Hair loss: Ringworms of the scalp can cause hair loss, which can be permanent in some cases.
  • Secondary infections: Ringworm can make the affected area more vulnerable to secondary infections, particularly if the skin is broken or damaged.
  • Spreading to other body parts: If left untreated, ringworm can spread to other body parts, including the nails, feet, and groin.
  • Psychological effects: In some cases, ringworm can cause psychological distress if it affects visible areas of the body or leads to hair loss.

Overall, while ringworm is generally not a life-threatening disease, seek treatment promptly to prevent complications and the spread of the infection to others.



Following some simple tips can prevent ringworm:

  • Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after touching animals, and shower or bathe regularly.
  • Keep the skin clean and dry: Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing and keep the skin clean and dry, particularly in areas where the skin rubs together, such as the groin and armpits.
  • Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share towels, clothing, combs, or other items with others, especially if they have a fungal infection.
  • Wear protective clothing: If you engage in sports or other activities that involve close contact with others, wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves or rash guards.
  • Keep pets clean: Regularly groom and bathe your pets, and avoid close contact with animals that have a fungal infection.
  • Disinfect surfaces: Clean and disinfect surfaces that can get contaminated with fungi, such as shower floors and gym equipment.
  • Be aware of high-risk environments: Be wary of surroundings conducive to ringworm growth, such as warm and humid environments, and take precautions accordingly.

If you suspect you have ringworm or have been in contact with someone who has ringworm, seek medical attention and follow the prescribed treatment plan. Early treatment can help prevent the infection from spreading and minimize the risk of complications.



The diagnosis of ringworm is typically made based on a combination of clinical presentation and laboratory tests:

Physical Examination: Ringworm is a fungal infection that can occur on the skin, scalp, or nails, and it typically appears as a circular or ring-shaped rash with raised, red edges and clear centers. The affected skin may be itchy and scaly, with a blister-like appearance. The location and severity of the infection can vary depending on the type of ringworm.

Laboratory tests: In some cases, laboratory tests can confirm the diagnosis of ringworm. A skin scraping or biopsy taken from the affected area and examined under a microscope can look for evidence of the fungus. Fungal cultures can identify the specific type of fungus. 

It's important to note that other skin conditions can have a similar appearance to ringworm. A consult with a healthcare professional particularly a Dermatologist can provide an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment of Ringworm (Tinea Corporis) | When to Consult a Doctor

Generally, you can treat ringworm with antifungal medications, which can be applied topically or taken orally. Here are some treatment options for ringworm:

  1. Topical antifungal medications: These medications, creams, sprays, or lotions are applied directly to the affected skin area. Some common topical antifungal medications include clotrimazole, terbinafine, miconazole, and ketoconazole.
  2. Oral antifungal medications: These medications work for more severe or widespread infections and are taken orally. Some common oral antifungal medications include fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine.
  3. Antifungal shampoos: If ringworm affects the scalp, an antifungal shampoo can deal with that. These shampoos usually contain selenium sulfide or ketoconazole and are used to wash the hair and scalp.
  4. Home remedies: Some people may also try natural remedies, such as tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, or coconut oil. While these remedies may have some antifungal properties, it's important to note that they are not well-studied and may not be as effective as prescription medications.

It's crucial to continue treatment for the length of time prescribed, even if the rash appears to be improving, to ensure the infection is cleared.