Why Does Ringworm Keep Coming Back? Common Reasons for Recurrent Ringworm Infections

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
By Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Updated on November 15, 2023

Ringworm is a common fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash. While it’s easy to treat, the rash sometimes returns after treatment. Let’s learn why ringworm keeps coming back and how to fully get rid of it.

Why Does Ringworm Keep Coming Back?

There are a few key reasons why ringworm may recur after initial treatment:

Incomplete Treatment

Ringworm spores can live in the environment for months. If treatment isn’t continued for the full prescribed duration, any remaining spores can cause reinfection. It’s important to use antifungal medication or creams for 2-4 weeks to fully clear the infection.


Reinfection is also possible if you come into contact with someone else who has ringworm or with surfaces/items contaminated with fungal spores. Ringworm is highly contagious. Reexposure from pets, sports equipment, gym showers etc. allows recurrence.


Sometimes a rash is incorrectly diagnosed as ringworm. Seeing a dermatologist can help identify fungal, bacterial or other skin conditions to guide proper treatment and prevention of repeat flare-ups.


To prevent repeat infections, be sure to complete the recommended antifungal treatment and practice good hygiene to avoid contact with contaminated surfaces or infected individuals. Seeking medical advice can also help pinpoint the cause for accurate long-term management.

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