Ringworm Overview

Ringworm Symptoms

If you think you've been exposed to ringworm, there are some general symptoms to note. Ringworm infections can be itchy and most are red, scaly and cracked, or a combination of all three [source: National Center for Infectious Diseases]. Each specific condition also has its own symptoms.

Tinea corporis is ringworm that occurs in the general body areas - not specific sites like your hands, feet, or head - and will most likely be itchy, scaly and have very clear edges. It's usually red, and often the outside is redder than the middle, which may cause it to look like a ring. This type of ringworm may crack, blister and ooze [source: National Library Medicine].

Hair loss is a key symptom in tinea capitis, or ringworm on your scalp. Bald spots, scaly areas and blisters may appear. You may notice a dandruff-like crustiness on the scalp [source: Cleveland Clinic]. If afflicted with tinea cruris, or jock itch, the ringworm appears in the groin area but can also affect the thighs near the groin. This form of ringworm tends to be itchy and reddish-brown [source: MedicineNet].

Tinea manuum is ringworm on the hands that looks scaly, dry and abnormally red [source: Trevino, Cairns]. Tinea unguium is a ringworm infection that occurs in the nails. You nails can become discolored, thicker, brittle and can even crumble [source: New York State Department of Health].

With tinea pedis, athlete's foot tends to be especially prevalent between the toes. You may have itching, burning, redness, scaly spots, cracked skin and even blisters between your toes or on the bottoms of your feet. Along with these symptoms, ringworm on your feet can make them smell putrid [source: Cleveland Clinic].

With so many types of ringworm out there, it's helpful to know their causes.