ZocdocAnswersIs this ring worm or dry skin?

Question

Is this ring worm or dry skin?

I have one round area of red dry skin. There is just one spot, back of thigh by wear the bottom of where my boxers hit on my thigh. I only wear underwear one day each but sometimes I wear the same pair of lounge pants each night at home after work. There is only one spot/area. About an inch or so.

Answer

I am sorry that this area of dry skin has been bothering you. You are right that ringworm and a small patch of dry skin or eczema can sometimes be difficult to distinguish. You should follow up with your primary care physician to discuss any other symptoms and to perform a physical exam. Tinea corporis, or ring worm, is a superficial fungal infection. It can appear on the skin as a red (erythematous), pruritic (itchy) scaly plaque in a circular shape. Often, the outer edge is more pronounced than the central area. This can be treated with topical antifungal creams. Also, these fungi like to live in a humid setting, so it is often recommended to keep the skin dry to prevent recurrent infections. Eczema or dry skin can often present in a similar manner with areas of red, dry, flaky, itchy skin. Commonly, people with eczema have more than one patch of affected skin. However, occasionally a patient may have one annular or circular lesion of eczema. Eczema is treated with topical moisturizing and cortisone creams. You should discuss this issue your primary care physician, who can perform an examination, prescribe the appropriate cream, and follow up with you to ensure resolution of your symptoms.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.