Ringworm is caused by microscopic skin fungi that live on the outer layer of the skin. You can get ringworm from direct skin-to-skin contact with infected people or pets. It is also transmitted by sharing hats and personal hair grooming items (eg, hairbrushes, combs), and through contact with locker room floors, shower stalls, seats, or clothing used by an infected person.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for developing ringworm include:
- Contact with surfaces (eg, seat backs, shower stalls), clothing, or personal grooming items used by an infected person
- Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or pet
- Age: 12 or younger—ringworm of the scalp rarely occurs in children after puberty or in adults
- Spending time in nurseries, schools, daycare centers, or locker rooms
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