- Common Ailments Service
Ringworm is a common fungal infection that causes a scaly dry rash. Continue reading for more information regarding the condition and the treatment options available to you...
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a common fungal infection, and despite the name - it is not caused by worms. The main symptom of ringworm is a red or silver rash. The rash may be scaly, dry, swollen or itchy. Ringworm can appear anywhere on the body, including the scalp (tinea capitis) and groin (jock itch).
Ringworm is caused by a type of fungi. It can be spread through close contact with:
- an infected person or animal
- infected objects – such as bedsheets, combs or towels
- infected soil – although this is less common
Should I seek medical advice?
If you suspect that you may have caught ringworm, you can get advice and treatment from a pharmacist instead of a GP. One of our pharmacists will have a look at your rash and recommend the best antifungal medicine. This could be a cream, gel or spray depending on where the rash is.
You usually need to use antifungal medicine every day for 2 weeks. It’s important to finish the whole course, even if your symptoms go away. A pharmacist will advise you if you should see a GP. If you are referred onto your GP, this may be due to:
- ringworm hasn’t improved after using antifungal medicine for 2 weeks
- you have ringworm on your scalp – you’ll often need prescription antifungal tablets and shampoo
- you have a weakened immune system – for example, from chemotherapy, steroids or diabetes
If you have ringworm, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by booking a telephone consultation with one of our experienced pharmacists for advice and support.