Ringworm Look-Alikes

Many other skin conditions look similar enough to ringworm, ringworm look-alikes, for the diagnosis to be commonly confused.

Question

My son, Jerimie, is seven years old. Ever since he was two he has developed a skin condition that looks similar to ringworm. We have taken him to the doctor for a diagnosis and they have diagnosed him with ringworm. We treated the area with Lotrimin and the condition did not go away. The area is not red, simply raised bumpy skin in a circular form. It has not spread to anyone else. With time (2-3 months) the condition simply disappeared. At times it comes back in the same area for a month or two. The area does not itch or bother my son at all. I was simply curious as to what it might be.
Kyra McBrayer – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dr. Greene`s Answer:

When ringworm is treated with an appropriate antifungal medication, such as Lotrimin, improvement is usually seen within 7 to 10 days. Treat it for at least one week following the clearing of the rash to make sure that all of the fungus is gone.

 

If the condition does not go away with 4 weeks of treatment, then it was probably not ringworm in the first place.

Many other skin conditions look similar enough to ringworm, ringworm look-alikes, for the diagnosis to be commonly confused.

Ringworm Look-Alikes: Granuloma

Granuloma annulare is a common skin condition with raised, flesh-colored bumps that appear in a ring. It may occur on any part of the body (though most commonly on the sides or backs of the hands or feet). The bumps may be red at the beginning, but this disappears as the ring forms. There is no itching or scaling. The rings vary in size from about 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter.

No one knows for certain what causes granuloma annulare. It is not an infection. I believe it is probably a slow hypersensitivity reaction that some individuals develop to different types of minor trauma. It may, however, be related somehow to diabetes. Most children with granuloma annulare are healthy and don’t go on to develop diabetes, but diabetes does occur more commonly in people who form these rings than in those who don’t.

Granuloma annulare usually disappears spontaneously within several months of appearing (though it can take years). In almost half of cases the ring comes back for a while, usually at the original site. Sometimes localized lesions may respond to topical steroid ointments. Some physicians recommend treating this condition with steroid injections, or even stronger medications. Since the ring is usually not bothersome, and usually disappears on its own, I do not routinely recommend treatment. Often these rings will disappear following a small injection of sterile saline, so if treatment is chosen, I would consider this simple, safe method.

Ringworm Look-Alikes: Nummular Eczema

Nummular eczema is another common skin condition that is often mistaken for ringworm. This is a coin-shaped patch of dry, scaly skin. Itching is variable. Nummular eczema is aggravated by bathing, soaps, and irritants such as wool. Treatment involves limited bathing, generous use of alcohol-free moisturizers, and topical steroid creams. This can keep the patch under control, but it is not unusual for the condition to flare up again at the original site.

Occasionally patches of nummular eczema disappear when someone is taking an antibiotic for some other reason. Bacteria can invade the skin in these dry, scaly areas. If a patch of nummular eczema is stubborn, try treating with an antibiotic ointment.

Ringworm Look-Alikes: A Host of Less Common Culprits

Other conditions that occasionally look like ringworm include seborrhea, psoriasis, pityriasis, contact dermatitis (such as poison oak), drug reactions, tinea versicolor, vitiligo, erythema migrans (a rash seen in Lyme disease), and even lupus. Your physician can differentiate these from ringworm by a skin scraping or biopsy, if necessary.

Your question, Kyra, touches on an issue of profound importance. The take-home lesson is that a “feedback loop” is a critical part of your relationship with a doctor. When a doctor looks at a raised ring on the skin (or any condition), it is appropriate to make the most likely diagnosis based on the available information (and any testing that might be indicated). If things don’t improve as expected, make sure to tell your doctor, so that this new information can be used in setting a course from here.

This living cycle of observation and reevaluation allows the most accurate insight into the mysterious workings of Jerimie’s unique body. Whatever issues arise with his health, let your experience with this ring remind you to keep the loop connected.

Do you need more information on ringworm look-alikes? Let us know below.

Medical Review on: June 30, 2014
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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I have what looks like rig word for about 6 months now. I have used the Antifungal cream and I’m not sure if it’s working or not. It seems to be working some of the time. I admit that I don’t use it everyday. The same are is affected, it’s my upper buttocks.

Someone is missing the boat on ringworm like rashes initially forming around the armpits. While granuloma annulare makes you close, there is far more concern that should be noted.

First, “erythema annulare centrifugum” can be related to 11 different malignancy conditions, including 8 which are Agent Orange presumed cancers notated by by the VA. While considered a rare condition, 1 in 100,000 ring rash cases, it is evidenced by this very article that even experts are not aware of this conditions possible consequences. And, if you don’t know what it is… how the hell can you diagnose it?

Mine, I believe, started with a flash rash on my thighs in late 2006. About five months later rings began to form around my armpits. Then the rings progressed down both arms to hit inner biceps, forearms just below the elbow, and the inside of the wrists.

My VA primary care physician diagnosed me as having simple eczema. I may only be a high school graduate, but I certainly can recognize a systemic problem like this when I see it! I bypassed further VA Montana services and went back to my old dermatologist (a Stanford grad) at VA Ft. Ord (part of the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System). He took a biopsy. The biopsy came back “suspected” for another condition called “mycosis fungoides.” That’s the fancy terminology for T-Cell Lymphoma of the Skin! The reason it was only suspected was because the cell structure wasn’t sufficient for an outright diagnosis.

Biopsies were taken over the next year and a half at VA Denver without resolution because VA Montana refused to let me travel to Stanford University’s world renown “mycosis fungoides” clinic for treatment… even though VA Palo Alto was willing to pick up the $1000 per visit consults. Travel from Montana would have been $300 to fly to San Francisco, while VA Montana paid $680 for each of my driving trips to Denver. (Just to shown you how the government works!)

Anyway, in September of 2006 I was diagnosed with full blown prostate cancer. Gleeson 3+4, too advanced for prostatechtomy. (sp?) And pay attention now(!)… PSA of only 2.6.

In December of 2008, I went through radioactive seed implantation of the prostate – a procedure called “brachytherapy.”

About 4 months later (April 2009) I was again back at Denver for another biopsy. After the taking, the doctor took my arm to walk me down the hall for a dressing. Along the way I said, “Ya know, Doc… I don’t think you people have the faintest idea as to what you’re doing!” You’ve been taking pieces of me for a year and a half and you can’t even tell me what the circles are!”

The doctor (an intern) replied, “Oh! That’s just EAC! (Erythema Annulare Centrifugum) You’re allergic to blue cheese!”

She flat stopped me in my tracks! “That’s B.S! There’s no way I’m allegic to blue cheese. I’ve consumed it my entire life! What else causes this EAC?

She replies, “Well I don’t know! We learn that it’s an allegic reaction to blue cheese!”

Not I am really ticked! “Doc, before I leave this hospital today we’re going to know everything there is to know about this EAC!”

She says, “Let’s dress your wound first and then we’ll look it up on the computer.”

Well! Aside from the 11 malignancies that EAC can be associated with, and the 8 within those 11 that are Agent Orange presumed conditions, it turns out that EAC is a differential condition to (wait for it!)……. “mycosis fungoides!”

in 2011 the VA cut my compensation from 100% to 20% on the basis that my prostate cancer was getting better. This, while the EAC continued to travel down my belly to my legs and ankles. Then I filed a Form 9 (?) Notice of disagreement to which the local benefits section raised me to 40%. I filed another Form 9 after being raised only to 40% claiming the EAC as a secondary condition to the prostate cancer.

Too late for me though. Under massive debt I was forced to charge bills to credit cards to save my fifty year + home in Santa Cruz, CA. which I had been using for rental income.

In 2013, my PSA zoomed to 3.95 over a six month period. My EAC was out of control. Since I was now on SSI and had Medicare, I went to an outside provider, who said the brachytherapy had failed, the cancer was no longer incapsulated in the prostate and was on the move. Where? He wouldn’t know until it landed. In other words, you could get prostate cancer in other organs, lymph nodes or the bones. So! I was put on the chemo drug Elegard, politely regarded as “hormonal therapy.”

The layman term is “chemical castration!” Reasoning was simple. Prostate cancer feeds off testosterone. Stop testosterone production and the cancer doesn’t

Finally, in 2014, I was heard by the VA Court of Appeals; and in June (?) of 2015 was awarded EAC, Secondary to Prostate Cancer – Docket #1019952. However, please note: I also asked for “specific performance” in that the VA make and distribute an EAC paper or Video that would be required learning by all PCP’s (VA Primary Care Physicians), VA Dermatologists, VA Urologists, and blood drawing lab techs. VA just ignored that request.

I have also filed for compensation dating back to the first occurrence of the EAC, with negligence by VA as not recognizing the condition. One would think when 8 presumed Agent Orange cancers are causes of the EAC condition that someone in VA would know it when they see it!

I was heard two weeks ago by the VA Court of Appeals in a “Priority Appeal” hearing. The docket number is: Docket # 1652305. The response to that appeal should come forthwith.

And a special note to you, Doc! I took pictures along the way. I offer them to you free of charge should you like to use them for an article on EAC. It is high time the masses learn of this condition!

Also, feel free to edit my post. I am killing two birds with one stone by also sending this letter to tapatalk – a Veteran’s website.

I thank you!

Can I see pictures I am a concerned mother and I have a 12yr old son that i think may have this EAC has started with a rash in between the thighs and now in one arm. They said it is eczema but medication not working.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comment. While this is a site (and this article) addresses kids health, we’re glad you point out other conditions that, though rare, are important in the VA population, and especially those vets who were exposed to Agent Orange — something people who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 should assume.

Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of DrGreene.com, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I have several of these reddish round blotches on my arm that have darker edges. Not itchy and not raised. But they are unsightly and only appear on one of my arms. The center is pale looking and I thought there were small white spots in the center. Not sure. I have hashimotos which is an auto immune disease and thought maybe it could be related to that?

For about 6 weeks, I have been dealing with what I initially took for ringworm and started off as a few small noticeable bumps/rings and have kinda spread across my face, under, eyes, cheeks, beard. They’ve grown and become smoother in the middle and red and raised on the outer edges. Appearing to go away only for other to be showing up. The itching comes and goes but I have seen a Doctor and I was prescribed terbinafine tablets and cortico steroid cream. That was 2 weeks ago and it only appears to be more small circular ringworm looking spots that appear to grow and become outer edged and thin to make lines across my face where they appear as a border to almost connecting. Kinda red blotches where they’re noticeable from my normal skin tone. It has now spread to my back and chest with the same circular small looking rings that itch and grow. It looks like a fungus but every home remedy in the book I tried, before consulting a physician only to still not see any real progress with medication. My blood was tested and the only thing odd was higher levels of white blood cells. My head has been somewhat itchy through the process but has become more intense recently and I expect it has spread more through my scalp. My next step is a derm, however any helpful information from anyone would be appreciated.

I have a ringworm lookalike. It comes on my thighs mostly, its not itchy at all, in fact its almost as if it isn’t there. Its stays for about a month and goes on its own. Its not like the picture up there, no swelling at all, sometimes it start very small like the size of a mosquito bite. I really wonder what it is.

I have a rash all over my body which kind of resembles ringworm it is on my feet legs thighs arms his and torso but not my face it is itchy embarrassed when I put lotion on it can anyone tell me what this may be?

I have the same thing did you find out the cause or diagnosis

So I have a ring worm look alike. I think. Started as one. had it removed and Biopsied. Prognosis, LEFT ARM: FOCAL NECROBIOTIC DEGENERATION WITH SURROUNDING HISTIOCYTES. NO EVIDENCE OF MALIGNANCY. NOTE: THE DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS INCLUDES GRANULOMA ANNULARE, NECROBIOSIS LIPOIDICA, AND RHEUMATOID NODULE. CLINICAL CORRELATION IS RECOMMENDED. DR. ADIGA HAS REVIEWED THE CASE AND AGREES WITH THE DIAGNOSIS. QACOM THE DIAGNOSIS FOR THE SPECIMEN IS SUPPORTED BY IMMUNOHISTOCHEMICAL STAIN(S) FOR S100 AND CD68. NJX/01/11/2017. Three more have developed on my hand. Kind of looks like Granuloma annulare but very distinctive rings. Would love to post a picture, And get your thoughts.

Good day Doctor Greene. I am a female, I have some sort of a ringworm look alike on the sacral region. It comes and goes and this has been going on for over 5 years now. I took terbinafine orally for 28 days and applied tribotan topically but it still came back. Please what could it be?

I have had these circles on my skin with a smaller circle in the middle with a thick horn like line through the middle of the inner circle that seems to be the life of whatever it is because it is resistant to removing it. No one believed me at first because they were small and I just gave up trying to get help but it has been 3 years now and I think I’m in real trouble now. Can I send a picture to the Dr and see what he thinks?

I had one removed and Biopsied. Heres is the lab report: LEFT ARM: FOCAL NECROBIOTIC DEGENERATION WITH SURROUNDING HISTIOCYTES. NO EVIDENCE OF MALIGNANCY. NOTE: THE DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS INCLUDES GRANULOMA ANNULARE, NECROBIOSIS LIPOIDICA, AND RHEUMATOID NODULE. CLINICAL CORRELATION IS RECOMMENDED. DR. ADIGA HAS REVIEWED THE CASE AND AGREES WITH THE DIAGNOSIS. QACOM THE DIAGNOSIS FOR THE SPECIMEN IS SUPPORTED BY IMMUNOHISTOCHEMICAL STAIN(S) FOR S100 AND CD68. NJX/01/11/2017
The problem is it doesn’t look like any of the pictures you can pull up. I now have three on my left hand. They are very sensitive. they hurt when bumped scraped. Would love to heard any good news about the rings of death?

Apply clobetasol lotion this will help and take terbinafine tablet.

Did u ever get an answer ? My boy friend of almost three years just recently told me about these dots that make a circle with a single dot in the middle of the circle . From what he described it would seem to me that it may look like an old small pox vaccination scar . Maybe ? If you got an answer I would love to hear why they said about it . It shows up nothing makes it go away until it’s ready then it just disappears. It so comes back randomly. He did he had had this every since he was a small child nd it has always just came and went randomly as it pleased . It’s not itchy and he said it doesn’t bother him at all . I’m wondering if he maybe diabetic? He is a little on the heavy side .

My husband has a rash on both arms and the back of his hands that look like a bunch of ringworms they itch severely and worsen in heat or sun exposure.. he has had them for not that 3 Months.. when it’s not flared he just has discolored white patches..

Where you able to find anything out? Going thru something very similar.

Hi my names saxxon
My girlfriend has a circle rash on the back of her thigh that she was told is ring worm but it isnt it’s about 10 cm wide circle with only the outside like a line about 7 mm thick all around the circle and about 1 cm wide circle spots in the middle and she is now getting red spots the same down her leg any idea what it could be is itchy and was getting better with ringworm cream now has gotten worse as she was told it isnt ring worm
Can send pictures if needed

Saxxon,
Almost 40 years ago at 19 years old I had something that sounds just like what you are describing. It was a ring on the front of my thigh. The doctor diagnosed ringworm/fungus. The prescribed cream worked a little but the ring only got bigger and bigger. A doctor took a biopsy and the results showed it was not fungus. I was told to treat it for eczema. I did and not only did it get worse but small red bumps popped out all over my body. I continued to use a cream for eczema and all the bumps got bigger and bigger. After a few months I looked like I had leprosy. I went to a fourth doctor that said it was ring worm. I wasn’t convinced because I had a small chunk of my leg taken for a biopsy months earlier. He scraped every bump-there were about 30. When he came back from the lab, he confirmed it was the worst case of ringworm he had ever seen. He brought all the students from the lab to see what they had looked at under the microscope. He put me on an oral fungal medication. After a month it looked some better. At two months it looked gone but he said I had to take another month to keep it from coming back. I had it for almost a year and had been to 4 or 5 different doctors who couldn’t figure it out. The fungal infection was in my blood stream. Only the oral meds could cure it. It was called Gris Peg but I think it’s called something else today. It turns out ringworm thrives o fungal infections. 😑Good luck. I know how frustrating it can be.

Hi, my name is Beverley, I have a rash covering my whole back and now has spread to my lower ams, with the raised red rings scattered all through this. Not itchy. I have had the rash for two years or more the red rings started at beginning of this year 2019. Dr has treated me with numerous ointments but nothing has worked. A sample taken showed up nothing. I am really worried, more so now it is spreading. May I just add that I have had breast cancer twice, once in each breast. Radiation treatment, no chemotherapy . This being of some concern. Thank you, regards.

Did you ever get a reply to this. I have something similar in the same place.

Hi my son has a perfect round mark on the side of his face no where else. It start last night ,looked like a bruise under the skin,but now it raised . It doesn’t itch or hurt. Any ideas please.thank you

Hello!

I just noticed, on my right shoulder area near my arm, the following: A single, round, light pink, slightly raised, flat, smooth spot about the size of a dime, maybe a bit smaller. It does not itch, is not crusty, has no rough edges, is not ‘pearly’. If anything, it looks like my old smallpox vaccination, only smoother. What could this be? Thank you!

I have something like this as well. Perfect, pink circles on my breasts. They are not crusty. They are velvety soft. Weird. I’ve had this now for almost 2 years now. I am going to be 52 next January 7th. They don’t itch nor bother me other than not knowing what they are and I have bout 10 or more.

Hi my name is ayanda I have something like ring worms in my body on the stomach,back and heard it been a year know I try lost of thing but the is no different please help me

Check your thyroid

I have small circular spats on my body that looks like ringworm n itches me lot and it all over my body…noting I tired seems to be working

I have a mix of different rashes on my forearms, calves and inner thighs.
Some look like rings, others look like red welts and some are just average looking rashes. All very itchy!! Some days look better then others but some days the sites are very aggravated.
My eyes itch as well!!

I have a roundish blister type off blotch on my arm woke up like it and it’s sore with a tiny little bubble on it it’s darker around the edge tho im scared and don’t know what to do

I got UTI some years back, while i was treating it ; i noticed some red dots on my skin. More like red pigments on the skin.
After a while, i see red/pink spots around my chest, neck, thighs and my cheeks even recently around my scrotum. I thought it was ringworm and got me some anti-fungal drug, but it keeps coming.
When it does come out, i apply iodine and water to it. It itches at times and later dry up and start to peel off. What exactly is this and what can i do????

Hi, I have developed something look like ringworm but it’s only one patch which seams to move from place to place. First I had it on my back, the it go away to show on my arm. And again it go away and came up am the stomach and now I’ve noticed on my bottom ;/
It looks that it does not spread but “travel” trough my body.
Can this be a ringworm ?

Dominica I have the same thing. One patch that looks like ringworm that started on my toe then moved to my big toe then moved to the top of my foot. It’s not spreading but traveling from one place to another on my body. Did you find out what it is.

I also have the same!! If I have a whole bunch together they eventually connect and become one huge large thing!! Don’t know how to explain it! Eventually, it goes away within a few hours but it is so itchy! I use coconut oil to calm it down! But I need what’s going on?. I’ve had for 6 weeks now and cannot deal with it anymore! Help please!!

I have been treating skin problem all over my body for 50 days. They look like classic ringworms, and they respond favorably to garlic application, and terbinafine 250 that a couple of doctors prescribed for me, but they don’d prevent new ones popping up.

Recently a dermatologist’s scraped a couple of lesions and looked under microscope, and found no fungus, so she thinks that it might be just hives, but my questions are:

Why they look so much like ringworms? why did they respond favorably to garlic and terbinafine?

I have seen four doctors so far, but they seem to be unsure. Sometimes, I feel like I have to make executive decision in this confusing situation.

I have taken Terbinafine for 4 weeks , and I have weak case of “ringworm lookalike” My burning question now is whether to take terbinafine 2 more weeks just in case it is ringworm after all.

Thank you very much.

I’ve noticed a larger than a 50p coin red sore on the inside to back of thigh, I shrugged it off as ringworm and thought it’s be gone within a week, however that was three weeks ago now and I’ve several Moreno dotted around my body with more appearances than I’ve ever had before, under boob, top of thigh shoulder and they’re slightly itchy and dry, passed it off as ezcma however I’ve never suffered with it before… any advice you can give as simple creams and antiseptics don’t seem to be working.

Good day Dr. Greene, i have a red spot rounded as a ring but its not ichy, not looks rashes and when i touched it , its a little bit hot compared to my normal temperature , after 1month having this rounded spot under my right arm, thers one appered in my left side of my back, same image no ichy no anything light red rounded.. Thank you for your help

My 10 year old been having the rash that look like ring worm its been 3 months and doesn’t go away. The mylocort cream help but a soon as u stop it comes back and then it just gets wors

Dr. I have these ringworm alike within my laps,legs and hand that vary in sizes, and i have taken several drugs and injection without solution to it. Please i need advice

Hello! I went to mexico on May 18th for vacation and had 2 same sized marks on my back that were really itchy. At first they were red flakey patches that did itch. I had ringworm before from traveling close to mexico but i don’t think it is it. Now they have changed color, to a brown shade with one of them having a red center. They are both the same shape and they are aligned vertically. I have pictures if i can email them to you.

I have the same! please let me know what you find out

I have three rings on the back of my neck and they all vary in size. They are all below one another, the biggest on the top. They do not itch, in fact, I didn’t know they existed until my barber pointed it out; and then other people began to mention it.

I’ve had it, as far as I know for a couple of months now. It went from one, to as I said before, three. In the beginning, I scratched at them, just because they were foreign to my body, so I messed with it. I scratched to the point where a fluid came out and it scabbed up, but as the skin healed, it came back with it. It isn’t contagious either. Neither my girlfriend, nor my son have caught it and it didn’t spread into my fingers or hands from touching.

Any idea what this could possibly be?

My 22 year old son has same round spots on his neck. No pain or itch. Not contractable. It could be diabetes related but my son has had normal blood sugar levels. He is over weight. I’ll try hydrocortisone again. Should I get a biopsy scrapping to see what it could be?

My little brother is experiencing a two ring like rashes that look nothing like ringworm. I thought it was granuloma annular but I did further research and it seems it only occurs in women ages 30-40. I am thirteen and my brother is 9. His rash looks nothing like eczema or anything you mentioned. I’m worried it’s serious. Please get back to me soon. He is in pain. Thank you

Elise, I appreciate your concern and initiative for your brother. I wouldn’t rule out granuloma annulare just because of his age and gender.

Granuloma annulare (GA) is pretty common and can affect both children and adults. Widespread GA is more common in people over 30, but the more common type, with just a few ring-like rashes, is more common in children and young adults.

And GA is more common in girls/women – but not that much more common. About 20% of cases are in guys.

So GA still sounds like a real possibility for your brother. If so, it will often go away with little or no treatment.

But I’m a big fan of having someone skilled look at unknown rashes – especially ones that are uncomfortable. I hope it works for someone to examine your brother.

I have red itchy bumps on my arms, legs, and back of my hands, and sometimes on my fingers as well. They’re very itchy and they come and go. Whenever one fades, another one forms in another part of my body. My skin also turned dark as the itchiness subsides. The bumps also look so muck like an insect bite.

I really want to know what kind of skin condition I have. Can anybody tell me what it is?

Ask your doctor to test for toxicara

Hi Dr. Greene, I’m 22 and I have has Eczema as all as I can remember. Well I have it on my back shoulder. My legs, my neck. Everywhere.. anyways my step sister is a nurse and saw my rashes and sent a picture to her derm. Doc. I haven’t been to one in year though. A free months ago a spot on my one arm showed up where I don’t have eczema at all. And it stayed. I put location on it like I do every other spot. My Eczema sometimes gets so bad it keeps me up at night. Well My step sisters doc said it looks like ringworm but I know it isn’t because if I was my boyfriend would have been affected a long time ago with it but now I’m freaking out because I’m thinking that certain spot on my arm is ringworm when it’s probably not.

im a 17 year old kid…i sweat a lot too..but few days back i felt very irritating between my legs and started scratching it up…and frequently i started scratching it up!!.. now the tiny dark circle has turned into a huge dark circle and it’s itches a lot!..it even burns!!and now its statred spreading all over my thigh region!!
so please any doctor see this message please answer it …i need to know what it is!!… I’m even shamed to show it to my parents …so please

sounds like jock itch… try getting some anti-fungal cream. .. same stuff you might use for athletes foot. Apply it after you take a shower. If it doesn’t start clearing up in a few days, you might need to bite the bullet and go see a Dr.

I have seen 2-3 ringworm like red patches on the back of my neck. They are flat, circular and non- itchy. I don’t how long I’ve had them since they’re unnoticeable but not for more than a couple months. I haven’t gone to see a doctor yet but I wanted to know if it’s possible to have ringworm without itching?

Hi Kashish,

Thanks for writing in. Here’s what Dr. Greene says, “The classic ringworm rash begins as a dry, raised, round patch, which may be slightly red. The patch may also be somewhat itchy.” The “may be somewhat itchy” indicates that it’s not necessarily itchy.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of DrGreene.com, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I have had what was diagnosed as ringworm since mid-November. I have seen both my doctor and his nurse-practioner and they prescribed ointments. The “ringworm” wasn’t going away so I went to a dermatologist who did a skin scraping. She said it was fungus and prescribed a stronger ointment. It still hasn’t gone away. It isn’t itchy. It was on the back of my hand and then two new spots on my finger came out. What would you recommend. I have an appointment with the dermatologist on February 5. My last appointment she said they may need to do a biopsy. Thank you.

Sounds like the fungus diagnosis is a step in the right direction. Perhaps you can get a stronger antifungal from your doctor? There are even antifungal pills. Maybe you could ask your doctor what she thinks of those?

I think everyone on here should be tested for tick borne pathogens, since all sorts of rashes occur with them. EM is just one manifestation. A full western blot is the test, and it is best to go to Igenex or Medical Diagnostic Labs. Skip the ELISA and ask for a full western blot. Herpes viruses reactivate with lyme, so that would be a good secondary test. Many people who have lyme show up with common variable immune deficiency and opportunistic fungal infections then show up as well.

Dear Dr Greene,My daughter is 3yrs old and she has the ringworm look alike tht might be granuloma annular on her arms,back,belly,chest and legs.i have tried every I can bt they dnt seem to go 😔.Is there anything anyone has come across that has helped please share it with me.
Thank you

Find an acupuncturist near you who is also an herbalist. Chinese herbs work fantastically for dermatological conditions!

Have you heard of light therapy ? It is usually used for treatment of skin disorders. Please do further research and ask your doctor if it would be appropriate for your daughter. Fingers crossed.

my daughter is 7 and she started out with two ring worm looking spots on her so I put a fungal cream on them and after 3 days they went a way. its been a bout two weeks and now there back and she has another spot. I don’t have any and I also babysit another 7 year old and a 1year who doesn’t have any could it be something other than ring worm

Hi Kelly – there are ringworm look-alikes, as mentioned in this article. But sometimes with ringworm there is still fungus left after the visible rash is gone, so the rash springs back up after stopping the anti-fungal cream. Continuing for at least several days after it looks recovered will often prevent this. It typically takes at least a week of treatment to completely eradicate the fungus. Sometimes two or even three weeks. Best – DrGreene

I have had something that looks similar to ringworm for 4 or 5 years now. It has never spread to my 2 previous boyfriends. It appears sporadically, it had started on my legs and has moved all the way up to my face, but still appears everywhere else. The biggest a spot has gotten is slightly bigger than a quarter. I am fairly certain it is not a fungus because I was given steroid cream and told that if it is a fungus the cream would make it grow and spread, which it did not do.
What might it be?

Please post pictures of these skin conditions.

Hi,
1) I have a nail fungal infection in my right hand little finger. After taking terbinafine for long time. After proper nail forming, i stopped the medication. But now again it has started getting green from one corner of the nail.
2) Got heavy fungal infection in thighs and random on other body parts. Medication was done for long time following by cap. itraconazole, cream ketoconazole, liquid luliconazole. That helped to removed the infection. But as the medication was stopped it started again in low activity following by scaly skin on bumps. In hands also ring like patches comes and goes.
Pissed off with this problem, Please help.

My fiance is a MMA fighter and developes these red looking rings all over his body. they started out about a year ago with one or two. then they’d go away, but each time they came back they would be more. and they dont spread on others because ive never once got one, we’ve tried all these creams and got him checked a few times they gave him medication for fungus. we now owe urgent care and it never curred him and the cost was expensive. Im not sure what step to take next.

I have ring like circles on my legs below the knees and upper thighs. They appeared after I started taking metformin. I have asked my doctor and he said oh it’ll go away. Well it has been a year now and I still have the ugly rash. Please tell me what I can do. Thanks.

Hi, I noticed the rash for the first time about 6years ago. It was treated with a soap and antibiotics. The circles usually start small and expand on both thighs, then with time fades away. It came back for the second time last year. I used herbal cream, then stopped using it. With time it disappeared. It came back again this year, and it became itchy whenever I’m feeling hot, it seemed to be disappearing, but the circles just increased in size. Is it a bad sign, Dr Green?

if it’s on your upper inner thigh and gets worse when you’re hot, perhaps you should explore jock itch (tinea cruris)

I have raised circles on my lower legs and thighs. They were diagnosed as ringworm. I treated them with a prescription cream without positive results. Then a prescription pill that cleared them up about 15 months ago. Now there back in the same spot and others are popping up. They seem to itch and sometimes pain. Can you help me with a cure.

My husband has a a “rash” that started on his hands. He had it biopsied and was negative for ringworm and cancer. But, we have yet to get what it IS. It does not itch and it does not hurt, but it is spreading to arms and he did notice a spot now on his face. Any help would be appreciated.No insurance so are limited to what we can do. Would like to share photos if I am able. Please respond :(

Iam Suzan On my cheek i have round red painful ring like a spiral stove , both cheeks are covered almost to the ears and down to neck, underneath the cihin i dont think it is the ring worms i went to the doctor he gave some ointment by didnt help ,its now six months of pain i ve tried almost everything but no changes what can i do to help myself.

I went on a vacation, when I left the stateam I’m from I did not have a oval skin rash on my neck, however when I arrived at my destination I did.
Mind you this rash has not itched or burned at any point, of which now it is 12 days old.
I went to a dr. Explained the situation and she jumped to ringworm.
I was using an ointment of my sister’s that was for eczema and derminitis it did seem to work. Now I’m on some kind of high strength fungal creme.
I honestly do not think I have ringworm non of the pictures I have looked at look like this rash at any point.
What could I have this is driving me crazy

I have terrible eczema on both my arms and I have a spot on my arm that looks like a light form of ring worm. It looks like it may turn red but I don’t know. It’s a pinkish right now but I also have another spot like it on my hand. I’m going to Urgent Care tomorrow to see. Any suggestions?

I have two red itchy circular spots on the upper chest area that itch and a small red one on top side of my hand

It’s a little circle on my waste and I don’t think it’s a ringworm I felt it at night and I don’t no what it is all I no is dat it’s a little burning feeling when I just let it sit there and when I touch or bother it I’m worried😫🙏🏽

Sounds like shingles

Hi. I was in hospital. In a coma for High Blood Pressure when I came out I had a red ringworm rash all over my body. It’s now only on my back. I am on medication for high blood pressure. Is it the medication that causes the rash…?

Hi Shaun,
Thanks for writing in! I’m sorry to hear about your experience. You might want to check the list of side effects indicated for your medication to see if that’s a possibility, and talk to your doctor if the rash persists. Wishing you all the best!
Hope that helps!
Alexandra (caring helper at drgreene.com, not a doctor)

My daughter has a ringworm looking rash on her back thats shaped like a xmas tree, then she has them on her chest, arms, and neck. It is leaving scarrs then when it comes back it comes in same spots.

My daughter had the xmas tree shaped rash on her back too doctor said it was called pityriasis rosea treated with ointment

My three year old has developed ringworm or so the er docters say she did but it has been a month on climitrozle and it hasnt gotten any better. Its all up and dowm both legs im concerned that it can be something else could it be.

Hi Melissa,
Thanks so much for writing in! I’m sorry to hear about your three-year-old’s skin condition. As Dr. Greene says in the article, if it hasn’t gone away after 4 weeks of treatment, it may not be ringworm and it would be wise to talk to your doctor.

Hope that helps!
Alexandra (caring helper at drgreene.com, not a doctor)

I have this rash that is on my inner thghts near my private it itches all the time kind of looks like ringworm but a lot bigger it mostly itches around night time I haven’t been able to get to go away no matter what I use I have tried hydrocortisone cream antifungal creams yeast infection creams I’ve tried all type of I’ve tried a lot of rash creams if you can find over the counter but not prescription wise I haven’t been to a doctor yet I’m waiting to go to 1 I have no idea what it could be can you help

Try antifungal powder in place of cream.

Corey-had something similar in the past and it turned out to be my detergent. I had gotten married and switched to Cheer what my husband used-loved the smell of it! Strange because my behind was the only area that it irritated. Went to Dr who ruled all else out, and suggested I try changing detergents to see. After changing back to what I had used before, it cleared up within a few days. Maybe that or new soap, body wash, lotion, etc. Hope you figure it out.

All over body rash that is ovel shaped with raised edges

i have got itching between my legs its like black and when i scrach it .it will bacome white som