Tinea corporis (ringworm) is the name used for a very common infection of the trunk, legs or arms with a fungus. On the scalp, it is called tinea capitis. Ringworm is contagious and can be transmitted via direct contact with an infected person, pets or contaminated objects, such as combs, brushes, hats or scarves. Poor hygiene and excess sweating enables the fungus that causes ringworm to thrive.
Ringworm appears as an itchy, red, ring-shaped patch with scale around the edge. In the scalp, it may appear as scaly patches of hair loss. Ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, is more common in children. The hair loss is not permanent. Once the fungal infection is treated, the hair should re-grow normally.
Ringworm is treated either with antifungal creams or pills. Sharing of clothing, towels, brushes, hats and scarves should be avoided.