Written by Dr. Vidya Viswanath, M.B.B.S, M.D. | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Oct 31, 2013

Causes of Ringworm Disease

Man loving fungi cause mild but chronic ringworm disease and spread is person to person contact or through fomites. Outbreaks are generally like epidemics.

Animal loving ringworm disease causing fungi are found in animals but are also transmitted to humans directly or indirectly when infected animal hair is carried on clothing. Exposed areas like the scalp, beard, face and arms are susceptible to infection.

Earth loving fungi are relatively less pathogenic to humans.

Certain social and cultural factors also play a role in acquiring the disease because ringworm symptoms on the foot are very common in the temperate zone where shoes are worn regularly and is rare in the tropics where most walk barefoot.

Other factors like age, hormones and associated host diseases like diabetes mellitus, conditions that lower immune resistance can contribute to causing ringworm disease.

Ringworm in Babies and Children

Although ringworm is a childhood disease it is uncommon in babies and infants. It is contagious and hence spreads from person to person contact, from infected pets and from infected surfaces which the baby comes into contact with while crawling.

Ringworm in the School Going Years

Ringworm disease of the scalp is a disease of the preadolescents. It is contagious and can be contracted from family members with ringworm anywhere in the body, schoolmates or animals. It is associated with decreased hygiene, low socioeconomic status, and overcrowding. The presence of certain fungi static fatty acids produced by the sebaceous glands after puberty brings down the incidence of Tinea capitis in children over the age of 14.

Ringworm in Adults

Barber's itch or Tinea barbae is caused by animal loving ringworm causing fungi mainly seen in farmers who come into contact with cattle, horses and dogs. Shaving, shaving lubricants, after shave lotion or other skincare products can aggravate barber’s itch on the face.

Ringworm Barber's Itch Disease

Tinea corporis is ringworm disease on the skin except in the palms, soles and groin areas. This contagion can spread directly from infected humans, animals, or through fomites and by auto inoculation. Fungi have been found on combs, brushes, pillow cases and in movie halls too. Warm humid climate and tight clothing is a causative factor.

Tinea Corporis is Ringworm Disease

Tinea cruris involves the groin and the buttocks. It is more common in adult males. Recurrence is due to autoinfection from other sites like the feet. Occlusive clothing, humidity, increased sweating especially after sports activities, sharing clothes are some of the predisposing factors.

Athlete's foot or Tinea pedis is ringworm infection of the feet. Closed footwear is a contributory factor.

Athletes Foot is Ringworm Disease

Ringworm disease of the hand - Tinea manus usually occurs with the foot infection as it affects the hand used to excoriate the affected foot.

Onychomycosis or ringworm infection of the nails is very common infection and increasingly seen due to tight shoes.

Ringworm in Animals

Ringworm disease is seen in mammals. Besides humans, cats, dogs and rabbits also show ringworm disease. Methods of transmission in animals is through scratching and scraping of the skin on the same or a different animal. Contaminated grooming appliances like hair clippers can also spread ringworm disease.


  1. Verma S, Hefferman MP.Superficial Fungal Infections: Dermatophytoses,Onychomycosis,Tinea Nigra, Piedra. In:Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ editors. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th edition McGraw Hill Companies 2008.
  2. Ananthanarayan and Paniker's, editors. Medical Mycology In Textbook of Microbiology. 8th edition, Hyderabad, Universities Press(India) Private Limited 2009.
  3. Schofield O.M.V, Rees J L. Skin Disease. In Colledge NR, Walker BR, Ralston SH editors. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 21st edition Churchill Livingstone Elsevier 2010.


enayet Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ringworm is a common disease in our life. The main causes of ringworm is attack by a fungus from someone who has it or infected by animal who has it well. So there are a lot of home remedy way that can follow and treat yourself at home.

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