Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis) is a rash caused by a fungal infection. It’s usually a red, itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Ringworm gets it’s name because of its appearance. No worm is involved.
Ringworm of the body is related to athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris) and ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). Ringworm often spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal.
Signs and symptoms of ringworm may include:
- A scaly ring-shaped area, typically on the buttocks, trunk, arms and legs
- May itch
- A clear or scaly area inside the ring, perhaps with a scattering of red bumps
- Slightly raised, expanding rings
- A round, flat patch of itchy skin
- Overlapping rings
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection caused by common mold-like parasites that live on the cells in the outer layer of your skin. It can be spread in the following ways:
Human to human. Ringworm often spreads by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
Animal to human. You can contract ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm. Ringworm can spread while petting or grooming dogs or cats. It’s also fairly common in cows.
Object to humans. It’s possible for ringworm to spread by contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or animal has recently touched or rubbed against, such as clothing, towels, bedding and linens, combs, and brushes.
Soil to humans. In rare cases, ringworm can be spread to humans by contact with infected soil. Infection would most likely occur only from prolonged contact with highly infected soil.
You’re at higher risk of ringworm of the body if you:
- Live in a warm climate
- Have close contact with an infected person or animal
- Share clothing, bedding or towels with someone who has a fungal infection
- Participate in sports that feature skin-to-skin contact, such as wrestling
- Wear tight or restrictive clothing
- Have a weak immune system
A fungal infection rarely spreads below the surface of the skin to cause serious illness. But people with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, may find it difficult to get rid of the infection.
Ringworm is difficult to prevent. The fungus that causes it is common, and the condition is contagious even before symptoms appear. Take these steps to reduce your risk of ringworm:
- Educate yourself and others. Be aware of the risk of ringworm from infected people or pets. Tell your children about ringworm, what to watch for and how to avoid infection.
- Keep clean. Wash your hands often. Keep shared areas clean, especially in schools, child care centers, gyms and locker rooms. If you participate in contact sports, shower right after practice or a match and keep your uniform and gear clean.
- Stay cool and dry. Don’t wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm, humid weather. Avoid excessive sweating.
- Avoid infected animals. The infection often looks like a patch of skin where fur is missing. If you have pets or other animals, ask your veterinarian to check them for ringworm.
- Don’t share personal items. Don’t let others use your clothing, towels, hairbrushes, sports gear or other personal items. And don’t borrow such things.
Common Name: Arsenious acid, arsenic trioxide
Symptoms: This remedy acts on all the organs of the body and is used to treat burning pains, weakness, irritability and restlessness. Other symptoms that can be treated using this remedy are:
- Excessive itching and swelling on the affected area
- Dry and scaly skin eruptions, which worsen on scratching and in cold weather
- Urticaria associated with a lot of burning and restlessness
All the complaints get after midnight, in humid and rainy weather, and on consuming cold food and drinks. The person feels better on taking warm drinks and with warmth in general.
Common Name: Puffball
Symptoms: Bovista is indicated for skin affections, particularly eczema and urticaria.
Individuals who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
- Deep impression on the skin even with blunt instruments
- Urticaria, when the person is excited
- Excessive itching on the tip of coccyx (tailbone)
- Pimples all over the body
- Onion like smell in armpit sweat
Symptoms get worse on waking up in the morning and after bathing and get better after meals.
Common Name: Calcium carbonate, carbonate of lime, calcarea carbonica ostrearum
Symptoms: This remedy has a marked action on the skin. Symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
- Unhealthy skin
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Excessive sweating on the scalp, so much so that the pillow gets wet
- Head icy cold to touch
- Severe itching on the scalp along with scratching on waking in the morning
Complaints get worse due to mental or physical exertion, in cold and moist weather, and the person feels better in dry weather.
Common Name: Virgin’s bower
Symptoms: Virgin’s bower is an excellent remedy for the skin and reproductive glands. Some of the symptoms addressed by this remedy are:
- Scaly, scaly skin lesions with a lot of redness and burning
- Eruptions, predominantly on the face, hands and back of the scalp
- Swelling of testicles and scrotum
- Pain and tingling sensation in the urinary passage that increases at night
- Decreased flow of urine; urine passes drop by drop
Symptoms worsen in the night and from the warmth of the bed, and get better in open air
Common Name: Bitter sweet
Symptoms: This remedy is very useful for skin symptoms that appear at the end of the summer season when the weather becomes damp and humid. It is indicated for the following symptoms:
- Ringworm lesions on the scalp that bleed on scratching
- Eruptions on the hands, face and arms
- Cold sores on lips
- Skin rashes in women seen just before their periods begin
- Red spots and small fluid-filled boils on the skin
All symptoms are worse at night, from cold or humid weather, and are better from warmth
Common Name: Black lead, plumbago
Symptoms: This remedy is indicated for people who are overweight, feel cold easily and are constipated. It helps relieve the following skin symptoms:
- Itchy eruptions on the scalp that emit an offensive odour
- Blisters on the tongue and around the mouth
- Dry and rough skin
- Eruptions that ooze a sticky fluid
- Unhealthy appearance of skin, with cracks on the mouth, nipples, anus and between toes
Symptoms worsen at night, with warmth and during and after periods. The person gets relief in the dark and on wrapping the affected region.
Common Name: Club moss
Symptoms: This remedy is well suited to people in whom skin symptoms appear very gradually along with gradual weakening of body functions. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
- Eczema and eruptions behind ears with a thick, yellowish discharge
- Gastric complaints
- Increased sweating, especially of the feet and the armpits
Complaints are worse on lying on the right side, between 4 pm and 8 pm and from warmth. Complaints get better from cold weather and after midnight.
Common Name: Chloride of sodium
Symptoms: This remedy is well indicated for treating chronic ringworm infections. It is given in case of the following symptoms:
- Oily skin, especially on the hairy areas of the body
- Dry eruptions on the scalp, elbows and knees
- Itching and burning on the affected area that increases on exertion
Symptoms are aggravated with warmth and mental exertion. Complaints get relieved by bathing and going out in the open air.
Common Name: Scabies vesicle
Symptoms: This remedy is indicated in all types of skin conditions. It is especially used to treat eruptions that have a foul smell. Other symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
- Unbearable itching
- Ringworm lesions on the scalp and bends of joints, such as elbows and knees, which worsen with itching and warmth of the bedo
- Eczema behind the ears and urticaria after any type of exertion
Symptoms worsen on drinking coffee, with changes in weather, and from cold. The person gets relief from symptoms by wearing warm clothing, in summers and with warmth in general.
Common Name: Poison ivy
Symptoms: This remedy is recommended in skin and mucous membrane infections such as cellulitis, urticaria and septic states. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
- Moist eruptions on the skin with intense itching
- Red and swollen eruptions
- Pain and stiffness in the joints (Read more: Stiffness in joints causes)
- Sciatica with tingling in the feet
Symptoms are worse at night, during sleep and with cold and rainy weather. Symptoms get better in dry weather, with warm applications, and by rubbing the affected area
Common Name: Inky juice of cuttlefish
Symptoms: This remedy is particularly suited to women with ringworm infections. Skin complaints that are relieved by this remedy are:
- Ringworm lesions that appear every spring season
- Itching on the bends of joints, which is not relieved by scratching
- Sweating on the feet, which is worse on toes, with a horrible odour
Symptoms worsen in the early afternoon and in the evenings, with humidity and on lying on the left side. Symptoms get better with warmth and hot applications.
Common Name: Silica, pure flint
Symptoms: This remedy is useful in skin overgrowths, keloids and skin conditions that lead to scar formation. Silica is indicated in case of the following symptoms:
- Increased sweating on the scalp with a foul smell
- Presence of boils, abscesses and ulcers on the skin
- Eruptions that itch only during the day and evening
All the complaints get worse in the morning, during periods and in damp and cold weather. Complaints get better by warmth and in the summer season.
Common Name: Sublimated sulphur
Symptoms: Sulphur is a great remedy for skin complaints associated with burning and itching. Other symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
- Itchy dry scalp, that burns on scratching
- Dry, unhealthy skin
- Dry form of tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) with hair fall
- Pus filled pimple-like eruptions on the skin
- Itching, which gets worse with warmth and often recurs in the spring season
Complaints are aggravated in the morning (especially at 11 am), when the person is at rest, and when consuming alcohol. Symptoms get better in dry weather.
Common Name: Tellurium metal
Symptoms: This remedy is very useful for skin and spine affections. It works well for people who develop symptoms gradually and have pains all over the body. Tellurium helps heal the following symptoms:
- Ringworm eruptions which have a foul smell
- Severe itching in hands and feet
- Offensive foot sweat
- Circular areas of eczema