What Does Ringworm Look Like?

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What does ringworm look like? Many people have heard about a ring worm rash but many are unaware of the symptoms associated with this skin problem.

Basic Look of Ringworm Symptoms

Ringworm on the body is basically characterized by well-defined often raised or inflamed itchy patches of red skin. The affected skin areas may have scales, crust, or have fluid filled areas that ooze and can be painful. These patches are round, tend to spread quickly, and are less than two inches in diameter. Single patches may be evident or groups of three or four closer together. In many cases, the patches have a white or lighter red colored center (essentially healthy looking skin) giving the appearance of a ring structure. Symptoms of body ring worm begin to appear from four to ten days after contact with the fungus.

An allergic skin reaction may also occur in an area separate from the ring worm affected skin. This reaction creates lesions called Dermatophytids. These lesions do not contain the ringworm fungus and usually disappear when the ringworm infection is treated.

The symptoms of ringworm will differ depending on where on the skin the fungus has attacked. Often, if a person has one type of fungal skin problem, then another type develops because of transfer of spores from affected area to non affected area. So, what does ringworm look like when it affects other body parts?

What Does Ringworm Look Like on the Face?

Itch, loss of hair or breaking off of hair in the beard region for men, and crusty red skin on the face and neck are common symptoms of ring worm in the facial region. The ring pattern generally does not occur on the face.

Scalp Symptoms

If ringworm affects the scalp, then the symptoms may resemble a dandruff problem. The scalp is usually itchy and is scaly. This is accompanied by loss of hair in patches creating bald spots. The hair may also break off and create stubble. Small patches of red inflamed skin can also form and in more severe cases skin lesions that can ooze pus.

Appearance in the Groin Area

Reddish-brown and scaly patches of skin develop that are very itchy and can create a burning sensation. These patches do not form on the genitals, but rather in the groin area and upper thigh regions.

Ringworm on the Foot

What does ringworm look like in the foot region? This is commonly known as athlete’s foot. Feet affected will have patches of inflamed red skin. The skin will often be scaly or thickened and cracked. Blisters may be evident. The affected skin may itch and burn as well. The area between the toes is most often affected by the fungus. For some individuals, a strong odor accompanies this skin infection.


If the nails on the toes or hands are affected by the ringworm fungus, then they become discolored – usually yellow, thick and scaly, and very brittle or chalky to the point of crumbling.

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