Ringworm, or tinea, refers to several types of contagious fungal infections of the top layer of the skin, scalp, and nails.

More common in males than in females, ringworm is characterized bypatches of rough, reddened skin. Raised eruptions usually form the circular pattern that gives the condition its name. Ringworm may also be referred to as dermatophyte infection.

As lesions grow, the centers start to heal. The inflamed borders Expand and spread the infection.


Ringworm infection is caused by a fungus. Fungi that cause ringworm live and spread on the outer layer of skin. Ringworm is not caused by a worm or other parasite.

Tinea fungal infections are caused by a particular type of fungi, called dermatophyte, which live off keratin.

Keratin is a tough, waterproof tissue found in many parts of your body, including your skin, hair and nails. This explains why fungal infections mostly affect your skin, scalp or nails.


The symptoms of ringworm include:

A ring-like red or silvery rash on your skin – your skin will look red and irritated around the ring, but healthy inside.

Scaly, itchy and inflamed skin.

In more severe cases:

The rings may multiply, grow in size and merge together.

The rings may feel slightly raised and the skin underneath may be itchy.

Blisters and pus-filled sores may form around the rings.

The ring spreads outwards as it progresses. You can have one patch or several patches of ringworm, and in more serious cases, your skin may become raised and blistered.