What's Going Around

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

It's ringworm that's keeping Dr. James Brouillette at Ingham Community Medical Center, a partner of Ingham Regional, busy this week.

Ringworm is a fungal infection spread by contact with affected individuals. It tends to be more common in warmer weather.

Ringworm appears as red, circular or oval raised scaly areas with a clear center. The affected area is itchy.

It usually appears on the non-hairy areas of the face, body, and arms and legs.

If you have a ring-shaped rash, you very likely have ringworm.

Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas, so keep the skin clean and dry.

Over-the-counter anti-fungal creams can often be effective in controlling ringworm.

If the ringworm doesn't respond to cream containing one of these medications, or if it spreads to the scalp or other hairy areas, see a doctor.

Your rash may start to clear up soon after you begin treatment, but it is important to use the medicine exactly as the label or your doctor says to help keep the infection from coming back.

Usually you need to continue treatment for two to four weeks.

You should treat a fungal infection right away. If ringworm is not treated, your skin could blister, and the cracks could become infected with bacteria.

Ringworm is contagious. It spreads when you have skin-to-skin contact with a person or animal that has it.

It can also spread when you share things like towels, clothing or sports gear.

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