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4 tips to ring out ringworm

Ringworm, a fungal infection named for the raised, red ring that can appear on the skin, is caused by microorganisms that become parasites on your body. Ringworm is contagious and can be spread human to human, animal to human, object to human and soil to human. Those at high risk of contracting ringworm include people who live in damp, humid or crowded conditions, sweat excessively, participate in contact sports, wear tight or restricted clothing or have a weakened immune system.

To avoid contracting ringworm during humid summer weather or while playing sports:

  • Avoid direct contact with individuals or animals with ringworm
  • Keep your hands and common areas (like mats, gyms and locker rooms) clean
  • Stay cool and dry.
  • Don’t share personal items such as brushes, towels and clothing.

If you contract ringworm, take a deep breath and head to the nearest drug store.

“Most cases of ringworm can be treated with an over-the-counter medication such as Lotrimin or Tinactin,” said Dr. John Williams with Nashville Medical Group at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. “If the infected area doesn’t respond to treatment or gets worse, it’s time to see the doctor for a prescription strength antifungal medication.”

“If you participate in high school wrestling, be sure to check the rules and regulations pertaining to ringworms. The state of Tennessee requires a physician’s clearance if any sign of a ringworm infection is present during competition.

Need a recommendation for a physician? Call 1-800-DOCTORS for a free physician referral.

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