Ringworm of the scalp

Close-up of ringworm rash on side of head

Ringworm is a fungus infection of the skin. It often shows on the scalp as round or oval patches of baldness or scaly skin. The circular patches usually spread along their outer borders while clearing at the center. The rash is sometimes shaped like a ring, which is why it's called "ringworm."

Sometimes the infected area is inflamed, reddened, crusty, and tender, with small swollen bumps. Or there may be black dots inside the patches from hairs that have broken off. Ringworm of the scalp is usually treated with medicines taken by mouth.

Current as of: July 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine

Ringworm of the scalp