ZocdocAnswersWhat is this spot on my arm?

Question

What is this spot on my arm?

From looking at pictures I don't think I have ringworm but I do have a red round spot on my arm. It is next to a couple of moles and is some red spots that are in the shape of a circle. What is this? Should I see a dermatologist?

Answer

Since this is a relatively recent problem, you could start by seeing your primary care doctor. They are capable of dealing with most common and simple skin problems, and they can help figure out what is going on and likely can treat the condition for you. If the condition ends up being more complicated, they can also refer you as necessary to a dermatologist. There are several potential causes of these red spots. Ringworm, or a fungal infection of the skin, is certainly one of them which you have already thought of. Ringworm typically causes a red circular rash with a clear center, which is often quite itchy or scaly. Eczema is another common condition which is sometimes confused with ringworm. It is caused by dryness of the skin, rather than by a fungal infection. The red patches of eczema do not tend to have clear centers like ringworm does, but they are also quite itchy. It is important to properly diagnose this, as the treatment will vary depending on what the diagnosis is. For example ringworm is treated with topical anti fungal creams whereas eczema is treated with topical steroid creams. Start by scheduling a visit with your primary care doctor as soon as you can!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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