Bumps in a Circle on the Skin

Bumps on the skin shaped like a circle, also known as ringworm, is a common skin issue typically among children; however, anyone can develop ringworm. Ringworm develops when you become infected with a type of fungus that grows and quickly multiplies on your body, including the skin, nails and scalp area. This condition also causes itchiness and discomfort.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that becomes a parasite on your body. The mold lives on the outside of the body, forming a ring shape. Ringworm is contagious and is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, animal to human contact or object to human contact. Ringworm is also spread through contact with infected soil; however, this is less common. Those who have a weak immune system are at higher risk for developing ringworm, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. A weak immune system will also make symptoms more severe.


Nonprescription treatments, such as clotrimazole, terbinafine, miconazole and tolnaftate, are used to treat ringworm. These treatments are available in creams and applied to the circle skin bumps daily. Wash and dry the area before applying the cream and use twice daily for at least two weeks, recommends the Mayo Clinic.


If ringworm doesn’t get better after two weeks of nonprescription treatments, contact your doctor. She can prescribe stronger treatment options, such as topical butenafine, econazole or terbiafine creams. Oral prescription medications are also available, including griseofulvin, fluconazole and terbinafine. Oral medications, however, have side effects, including stomach upset and liver functioning abnormalities. Talk with your doctor about side effects before taking the medication.


Prevent ringworm by not sharing personal items such as hairbrushes and towels. Avoid wearing thick clothes for extended periods of time, which creates a moist environment for ringworm to grow. Shower after intense activity and wash your hands often. Ringworm can also affect the feet. When using a public area, such as gym locker room or community pool, wear sandals to protect your feet from ringworm.


If you take the oral prescription warfarin, talk with your doctor before taking oral medications for ringworm. This drug has interactions with oral medications used to treat ringworm. Always tell your doctor all the medications you’re taking to prevent potential interactions.