Ringworm is a common fungal infection. It’s not caused by worms. You can usually buy medicine from a pharmacy to make it go away.
Check if it’s ringworm
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).
A pharmacist can help with ringworm
Speak to a pharmacist first.
They can look at your rash and recommend the best antifungal medicine. This might 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 tell you if they think you should see a GP.
See a GP if:
- 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
How ringworm spreads
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