What causes ringworm of the scalp or beard?
Ringworm is not caused by a worm. Ringworm infections are caused by a fungus. The kinds of fungi (plural of fungus) that cause ringworm live and spread on the top layer of the skin and on the hair. Ringworm is contagious. It spreads when you come into close contact with a person or animal that has it. It can also spread when you share hats, combs, brushes, towels, clothing, and other items. Children get ringworm more often than adults. If an adult gets ringworm, he or she will most likely become a carrier of the ringworm fungus. Carriers can pass ringworm on to others but do not have symptoms of the disease. You can also get ringworm by touching an infected dog or cat, although this form of ringworm is rare.