The term ringworm generally refers to fungal infections that are on the surface of the skin. Although it was derived from the early belief that the infection was due to a worm, this notion was proven false many years ago. Many of these fungi produce round spots on the skin, but confusingly enough these spots are not fungal infections. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is essential for successful ringworm treatment.
The medical term for ringworm is tinea. Then, an additional term is added to define where the infection exists. For example, Tinea capitis refers to fungus of the scalp, tinea corporis to fungus of the body and tinea pedis to fungus of the feet.
Ringworm occurs in people of all ages, but it is particularly common in children. It is very contagious and can be passed from person to person by contact with infected skin areas or by sharing combs, brushes, other personal care items and clothing. It is also possible to become infected with ringworm after coming in contact with public surfaces found in pools, locker rooms, gymnasiums, etc. The infection can also affect dogs and cats, and pets can often transmit the infection to humans. It is common to have several areas of ringworm at once in different body areas. At this point, it becomes very important to seek a reputable ringworm treatment and begin the process as soon as possible.