Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Do I still have ringworm?"


I'm 20, and for the last few years I've had a few issues with ringworm. One day I woke up last year and thought I'd acquired over 70 overnight, but it turned out to be pityriasis rosea. Even so, a couple of months later I began itching like crazy. I thought I might have had one on my leg... when I wasn't sure I'd been shaving my legs and I'm almost positive that helped spread the fungus... it was everywhere at this point. It went away over the winter after lasting throughout all of summer and not responding to treatment... now I'm worried I may have one again. Is it the same fungus from before? Is this case new? Why am I so susceptible and why are they so resilient on me?


First, this is an unfortunate problem to have been dealing with for so long, and at this point it seems that you should speak with a physician to make sure you do not have something other than ringworm. And if it is ringworm, you should speak to someone about why it keeps coming back. Generally, ringworm should be completely healed in a few weeks after treating topically (as with an over the counter anti-fungal), and even more quickly when a systemic (orally given) anti-fungal is used.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Dermatologists near you

The fact that yours has been coming back for so long makes me concerned that there could be something affecting your immune system and keeping your body from clearing this infection. Alternatively, just as happened to you last year, it is quite possible that this is not ringworm at all, and you should definitely see either your primary care doctor (if you have not discussed this with him or her yet) or a dermatologist (for more specialized and definitive treatment). Other things to do in addition to using a systemic anti-fungal include changing and washing your bedding regularly. Please speak to a physician soon to discuss your medical history and let him or her actually look at the spots, as many things can mimic ringworm.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.