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What Are Other Diseases That Can Resemble Ringworm

Quite often misjudged, Ringworms are commonly mistaken to be associated with parasitic worms. However this skin disease is usually caused by either Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton species. This fungal infection is also known as tinea (corporis / capitis / cruris / pedis), dermatophytosis or dermatophyte infection.

Ringworm can be presented via different names when occurring at different parts of the body. For example ringworms that occur around the inner thigh, groin, and buttocks are commonly known as jock itch. Besides that, ringworms infection of the foot is well known in the athletic realm as athlete’s foot. Furthermore, ringworms that occur around the body and scalp are contemporarily called tinea corporis and tinea capitis respectively, or body/scalp fungal infection in short.

It’s clinical manifestation upon the skin is usually described as having

  • Red, itchy, scaly, bumpy & roughly circular patches around the infected areas
  • Patches that may develop into chronic blisters if left untreated
  • Patches that are redder on the outer circular layer – forming a ring-like appearance
  • Patches with a well define and slightly raised edges

Notably with an experienced clinician eye, one can most likely determine whether a skin abnormality is caused by a fungal infection or other similar disease that might resemble ringworms skin infection. Nonetheless, further investigation must be done prior to obtaining a wholesome conclusion. Even so, other skin condition that might be mistaken for ringworm disease also includes:

Nummular Eczema

Also known as nummular dermatitis or discoid eczema, this chronic skin disease has no definitive causes but is mostly associated with people that have family history of allergies, asthma or atopic dermatitis. It is non contagious, mostly occurs in th elderly and has a distinctive coin-shaped lesion to the affected areas.

Contact dermatitis

May be caused by a direct skin exposure to an allergen that is susceptible specifically to certain individuals. Its clinical symptoms usually include redness that may develop into severe itchiness. These rashes like symptoms usually occur on individuals with a history of previous dermatitis predisposed by the usage of  a new product. It can also be accompanied by cracked, scaly and swelling skin.

Pityriasis rosea

It is an idiopathic skin condition that some scientists associate with a certain strain of virus. Pityriasis rosea is commonly known for it’s ‘Herald patch’ lesion that is a large and slightly raised scaly skin followed by a smaller numerous oval shaped lesions surrounding it. Mainly occur upon the youth of 20-35 year of age, the skin abnormalities can usually be found around at the body and upper limb,


Is a skin disorder that is caused by an underlying inflammatory process and immune system abnormalities. This triggers an overdrive of skin formation that irritates the superficial skin layer. Psoriasis is typically associated with red, itchy, scaly and bumpy patches that are often located on the body, scalp and extremities. Psoriasis usually runs in the family, and its symptoms often develop between the ages of 15 to 25 years old regardless of gender.

Erythema migrans of Lyme Disease

Erythema migrans or also known as Erythema Chronicum migrans are skin abnormalities that are associated with Lyme disease. It is a skin infection that is caused by the bacteria Borrelia mayonii. The affected areas are often described to elicit circular bumpy rashes that become wider across time, and are often accompanied by systemic symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue.

Cutaneous Lupus

Also known as skin lupus or discoid lupus are chronic skin disorders associated with an immune system abnormality. This disease often affects more women as compared to men around the age of 40-60 years old. Tend to be similar to ringworm disorder because its skin rashes can develop into the form of red and scaly coin-shaped or ring-like lesions that are accompanied by severe sores with varying thickness.

Consider visiting or booking an appointment at doctoroncall website if you wish to learn more about your current skin health via a walk-in or tele consultation with our doctors from across various fields & specialties.

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