Is It a Rash or Ringworm?
Breaking out in a rash can be concerning, particularly if you don't know what's causing it. Skin rashes are a common issue seen by the doctors at Applegarth Dermatology in Valparaiso, Indiana, with ringworm being one of the main causes. If you're wondering about what's causing your rash, you've come to the right place. Dr William Applegarth and physician's assistant Thomas Sandin delve into the topic of ringworm in this post.
What is ringworm?
Contrary to its name and reputation, ringworm isn't caused by a parasite. It's actually caused by a fungus, the same one responsible for athlete's foot and jock itch. Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, causes a reddened and scaly rash to appear in nickel- or quarter-sized patches on the body. It is annular, or ring-shaped, with the middle section typically left unaffected. It can also develop on the scalp, where it can cause bald patches to develop. Ringworm can be intensely itchy and is very contagious. It's easily spread from person to person as well as by touching animals, particularly cats and cattle, who carry it. It's typically treated with a topical antifungal ointment.
If it's not ringworm, what is it?
There are a few other skin conditions that can mimic the appearance of ringworm. These include granuloma annulare, which produces smooth (rather than scaly rings) of inflammation on the skin, as well as pityriasis rosea, which is thought to be the result of a viral infection. Patches of psoriasis or eczema can also look like ringworm. Because it's often not immediately clear what's causing your rash, it's important to contact your Valparaiso dermatologist when you develop a rash that doesn't clear up on its own in a few days.
Fortunately, ringworm and other skin rashes are easily treatable with the help of your Valparaiso dermatologist. Contact Applegarth Dermatology at (219) 548-0360 for an appointment with Dr. William Applegarth or Thomas Sandin, PA. We also have an office in La Porte, IN which can be reached by calling (219) 362-0161.