Do I Have Eczema or Ringworm?

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Do I have eczema or ringworm?

Both cause red, itchy skin. But ringworm causes round or oval rashes with raised edges and a flat center that may or may not have scaling, whereas eczema can come in round patches or irregular ones.

I know they look the same. I want to know how to know what I have.

Ringworm tends to have the raised outer edge, whereas eczema tends to be equally rough all over the broken out area. Ringworm as it spreads tends to clear in the center, whereas eczema doesn’t.

So it is probably ringworm if it looks better on the inside than the edge.

Ringworm can be spread by rubbing the affected area with a towel and then somewhere else, or picking it up by rubbing against an infected person or animal. You know it is ringworm if you had it on one arm and now have it other places.

Eczema can affect both hands or both arms.

Yeah, but it won’t spread like a bad rash.

Actually, ring worm is a bad rash.

Ringworm is a fungal infection. Eczema is an auto-immune condition, so eczema does not spread, though ringworm can.

How do I tell the difference?

Short of a medical test? Hydro-Cortisone will help reduce eczema itch, whereas they will worsen ringworm rashes.

I do not have any on hand to try.

Eczema improves if you use alcohol-free moisturizers, whereas that won’t make much difference with ringworm.

How can I get rid of it?

Ringworm clears up after a week or so of antifungal medication taken orally or on the skin, whereas eczema won’t react to that treatment.

Does athlete’s foot treatments kill it?

There are over the counter antifungal medicines to treat it, yes, whereas over the counter stuff aside from hydrocortisone is not available for eczema.

How do you prevent it?

Eczema is triggered by allergies or stress, but you cannot give it to someone else, and you cannot spread it across the body. Your doctor might give you something to reduce the breakouts.

I heard wool clothing, excessive bathing, harsh soaps and contact dermatitis make it worse.

Yeah, and the new definition of a bad day is getting ringworm and poison ivy at the same time. Eczema is most common in middle aged men, ringworm in children, so you know you’re more likely to get eczema as you get older.

You can get both at any age.

True, but keeping kids with rashes away from yours reduces the risk of your kid getting ringworm, plus a whole lot of other things. Saying grandpa cannot hold him because he has eczema, makes no difference except to make both boys cry.


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