Ringworm, as the name suggests, is a skin irritation which looks like circles. Caused by a fungus, ringworm can affect different skin areas, such as the face, the scalp, the groin area of the feet. The irritation appears like a dry round patch which measure around 2 inches in diameter, or less. This is itchy and also appears red. As the irritation gets worse, the patch will grow larger and redder. The outer part of it has the darkest red, while the inner part may appear paler and may even look healthy.
These patches can spread quickly if not given the right attention and treatment. They may have a crust, scales or areas which have fluid under the skin. It can be painful to the touch. You may notice a single large patch, or three or four patches clustered together.
Ringworm will be obvious to the eye after around ten to 14 days since the contact with another person, animal or object. Aside from the patches, the skin’s reaction to the fungus can also be noticed. Called dermatophytids, this reaction shows as lesions in the skin. They disappear after the ringworm is treated.
On the face and the neck, ringworm usually appears crusty and red. If the infection affects the beard, there is usually hair loss and itchiness. Ringworm does not usually appear round when it affects the face. On the scalp, it may look like a severe case of dandruff. The head may feel itchy and will appear scaly, but it also comes with hair loss and bald spots. Stubbles may also form as the hair on the affected scalp area breaks off. In severe cases, legions may show and may ooze pus which is painful to the touch.
On the groin area, ringworm usually appear scaly and in reddish-brown color. Aside from being itchy, the rash can also have a burning sensation. The infection does not reach the genitals, however, and can only be found on the upper thigh and groin area.
Ringworm in the feet area is also known as athlete’s foot. The affected area looks red, scaly and is often thick and cracked. Since the feet are usually exposed to dirt and other infections, ringworm in this area usually itches and burns. It is often found between the toes and emit strong odor. The nails can also be affected and will appear yellow, scaly and thick. They easily crack because of the brittleness and chalky texture.