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Is Ringworm Contagious?

Updated on August 29, 2011
Fungus that causes ringworm
Fungus that causes ringworm

Is ringworm contagious? Anyone who has a member of the family with ringworm may want to know the answer to that in order to prevent the other members from getting ringworm. Ringworm is indeed very contagious, so precautions need to be taken to prevent its spread to other people and even family pets.

Ringworm most commonly affects children but can occur at any age. The causes of ringworm are fungal infections that the person may have gotten from contaminated showers, animals with ringworm, or from a person who has ringworm. Due to the ringworm contagious nature, special care needs to be taken so that others don't get it and the person does not have recurrences of it.

When someone is being treated for ringworm, they can continue to spread the fungal infection until the rash is gone. The bed sheets used by someone with ringworm should be washed every day. To be safe, the person doing the laundry may want to wear rubber gloves and immediately wash their hands after removing the sheets and putting them in the washer.

Regular laundry detergent can be used to wash the sheets and clothes of someone with ringworm. However, the items should be washed in hot water. Some people recommend using bleach, color-safe or regular, when washing the sheets and clothes. Sometimes people forget to wash the pajamas everyday during a ringworm infection, but this is important to help treat the ringworm and prevent recurring infections.

Ringworm is commonly picked up from contaminated floors of public showers like at the gym, school locker rooms, or public swimming pool. Wearing flip flops in public showers is highly recommended to prevent ringworm and athlete's foot which is also a fungal infection.

Cleaning ringworm from the house is a common suggestion for preventing recurrences of this condition. The home bathtub or shower can become contaminated with a fungus. The shower floor or bathtub can be cleaned with bleach or antifungal cleaner after someone with ringworm uses it.

Some resources recommend cleaning the house with diluted bleach if pets and members of the family are being treated for ringworm. Vacuuming the heating ducts and cleaning the vents are recommended.

Ringworm is a common skin condition for cats, especially Persians. Some cats and dogs may have ringworm and not have symptoms. Cats and dogs with ringworm may develop round, bald patches. If the owner suspects a ringworm rash, a veterinarian should be consulted. If the people in the house are treated but the pet is not, the people can get ringworm from cats and dogs.

If a pet has ringworm, the veterinarian may prescribe an antifungal medication. The people in the house should try to avoid contact with the pet during the ringworm treatment. The veterinarian can advise the family on limiting contact and the necessary information about treating ringworm in pets.

Please visit my other article for information about treating ringworm. I have another article called "Ringworm Rash or Eczema?" which you can visit to learn more about ringworm or see ringworm pictures.

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    • Health Card profile image

      Evie Dawson 

      4 years ago

      The bad news is Ringworm can affect the skin on your body and scalp, and your nails. Thanks for sharing :)

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