Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is this spot on my back ringworm?"
There is a little red spot about the size of a quarter on my back. It is right on the back side of my armpit. It is red but it doesn't itch or hurt. Is this ringworm? What should I do about it?
Ringworm of the body, also known as tinea corporis, is a fungal infection of the superficial skin. It is in the same family of infections responsible for "jock itch" and "athlete's foot." Typically the infection manifests as a small red area, which subsequently begins to grow outward in a circular pattern. Eventually, most ringworm appears as a circular rash with a clear center and raised borders. Classically the borders are somewhat scaly in appearance. Much of the time these rashes are itchy, but not always. The rash of ringworm is fairly distinctive and can be diagnosed by your primary care doctor with a proper physical exam. If there is doubt about the diagnosis, a small scraping from the rash can be analyzed under the microscope to confirm the presence of fungal elements. Fortunately, topical antifungal medication is usually very effective is eradicating the infection with no adverse side effects. Given that the cause of your rash is unclear from the description, it is advised that you seek out the help of your primary care doctor so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and an appropriate treatment course can be prescribed.
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