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Clinician’s Corner: Ringworm

What is this rash that looks like a worm??

The fungus that causes “ringworm” is the same organism that can also cause jock itch, athlete’s foot, and nail fungus. Ringworm or “Tinea corporis” usually begins as a circle or oval, scaling patch that is itchy and spreads outward from the center on the smooth skin, (other than the scalp, groin, palms, and soles). The center of the lesion clears while an active, advancing, raised border remains. The result is a ring-shaped plaque from which the disease derives its common name of ringworm.

How do I get it?

  • May result from contact with infected humans, animals, or inanimate objects. Commonly transmitted by kittens and puppies.
  • Occupational risk: farm worker, zookeeper, laboratory worker, veterinarian
  • Environmental exposure: gardening, contact with animals, towels and shared grooming appliances.
  • Recreational exposure: contact sports especially wrestling, contact with sports facilities (gym mats, locker room floors). The ringworm spread by wrestling has its own specific name: “Tinea corporis gladiatorum” named after the gladiators of Rome.

How do I get rid of it? Treatment of Tinea corporis (ringworm):

  • Terbinifine (Lamisil®): apply once daily for 7 days
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin®): apply twice daily for up to 14 days
  • Miconazole (Micatin): apply twice daily for up to 28 days
  • Oral therapy: may be needed if ringworm includes extensive skin infection, immunosuppression, if over the counter creams don’t work, or if the scalp or nails are involved.  Your doctor will need to write a prescription for oral medications.

So, if you or the kids have been playing with the kitty or puppy and you get a rash as we described, your Thompson Pharmacist is the best resource to help you get rid this easy to cure fungus rash. Go ahead and ASK!   At Thompson Pharmacy, it’s all for YOU!