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Ringworm is a common and highly infectious skin infection which causes of ring-like red rash on the skin. It can appear almost anywhere on the body but commonly affects the scalp, feet and groin.

Medically it’s known as ‘tinea’, it isn’t serious and can be treated using creams sold by a pharmacy. It is highly contagious and can spread easily among people. It has nothing to do with worms, it is purely a skin infection caused by a fungus.

When to see a doctor about ringworm?

If you experience ringworm on the scalp you should see your GP, this type of ringworm is treated with anti fungal tablets which can only be described.

Ringworm is generally treated with an anti-fungal cream from a pharmacy, you do not need to see a doctor unless infection persists.

How is ringworm caught?

Ringworm is passed from person to person through direct skin contact or by shearing infected objects such as; hair brushes, towels and bedding.

Pets such as dogs and cats can have ringworm too, this can also be transmitted to humans who they have contact with.

Who is affected?

It is estimated that 10 to 20% of people will have a fungal skin infection during their lifetime, it is a common infection.

It affects people of all ages, even pets.

Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) is commonly found in children who have not reached puberty, particularly African-Caribbean children.


The majority of ringworm cases are mild and to be treated using an antifungal cream found in your local pharmacy.

Anti-fungal tablets plus anti-fungal shampoo can treat scalp ringworm.

It rare cases ringworm can leave the skin broken and irritated, this may lead to other bacterial infections which would then need treatment with antibiotics.


It’s vital you stop ringworm spreading. Avoid shearing bedding, towels and the like with anyone diagnosed with ringworm. If you think your pet has ringworm take it to the vet for treatment.

If children experience ringworm there is no need for them to stay off school, although you should inform the skill and maintain a good level of personal hygiene.



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