Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. It’s usually a red, itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. In environments such as wrestling it can spread very quickly throughout the gym from person to person so early recognition and treatment is important.
Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance. No worm is involved.
It can be caught in several ways such as contact with an infected person, touching items in contact with an infected person (towels, clothes etc) or from animals.
A small area of infected skin tends to spread outwards. It typically develops into a rounded, red, inflamed patch of skin. The outer edge is more inflamed and scaly than the paler centre. So, it often looks like a ring that becomes gradually larger – hence the name ringworm. Sometimes only one patch of infection occurs. Sometimes several patches occur over the body.
The rash may be irritating, itchy and inflamed. If not itchy and annoying, it’s very unlikely to be fungal.
Be aware that sometimes fungal skin infections look similar to other skin rashes. There are several causes of this so if initial treatment is not working please seek help from your GP.
There are several over the counter creams which can be effective such as terbinafine, clotrimazole, miconazole and ketoconazaole (read instructions before use). If these fail then you should seek help from your GP.
You should stay away from training for 48-72 hours after treatment has begun to avoid spreading it to others.
Other measures to reduce spread are not sharing towels, washing towels, sheets and clothes often and cleaning the shower/bath after use. Try to avoid scratching the rash as this may spread the fungus to other areas of your body.
It is against the rules to compete whilst carrying an infectious disease, you should not enter a competition if you suspect you have ringworm. Evidence of ringworm at weigh-in will be questioned and if you have ringworm you will not be allowed to compete.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/ringworm
A copy of this information is available as a download below for clubs to print off and place on noticeboards and share with wrestlers.