Dry Red Circles on the Skin

Skin rashes take many forms. Depending on the cause, a rash can be red, skin-colored, moist, dry, bumpy or smooth. Some skin rashes form in random, non-distinct patches, while others are more defined in shape. If you have noticed the appearance of dry red circles on your skin, schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. He will be able to determine the exact cause and suggest an effective treatment.

Is This an Emergency?

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


Ringworm and Lyme disease are two infections that commonly cause dry red circles to form on your skin 2. Ringworm is a fungal infection that can surface on your scalp, feet or groin. Ringworm rashes are circular in shape with red edges and a skin-colored interior. The rash can cause itching and have a raised, scaly appearance. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted through tick bites 2. Dry red circles on the skin are among the early symptoms of the disease. Lyme disease rashes consist of a large, red outer ring encircling a skin-colored interior with a small red circle in the center 2. In most cases, Lyme disease rashes will not cause pain or itching 2.


Causes of a Skin Rash on Hands and Feet

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According to MedlinePlus, over-the-counter anti-fungal medications containing active ingredients like clotrimazole or miconazole are typically effective in relieving dry red circles associated with ringworm 1. More-severe ringworm infections might require a stronger prescription-strength medication like ketoconazole. According to Kidshealth, relieving the dry red circles associated with Lyme disease requires treating the underlying infection with a round of antibiotics 2.


The fungi that are responsible for ringworm infections thrive in warm, moist locations, so keeping your skin and your hair cool, clean and dry is the best way to help prevent ringworm. The only way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid contact with infected ticks 2. Always wear long pants and longsleeved-shirts whenever you spend time outdoors. Kidshealth suggests wearing an insect repellent that contains at least 20 percent of the active ingredient DEET 2.


Itchy Skin Between the Toes

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Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection. According to MedlinePlus, you can spread ringworm from person to person not only through direct skin contact, but also by sharing contaminated personal items like combs, brushes, clothing and towels 1. Unlike ringworm, Lyme disease is not contagious 2. You can only contract Lyme disease if you are bitten by an infected tick 2.


Most promptly treated ringworm cases clear up with no problem. However, complications can occur in some cases. Scratching your skin excessively can cause a bacterial infection. Signs of infection include fever and increased redness, swelling or pus discharge from your rash. Complications associated with Lyme disease include heart problems, nervous system disorders and meningitis 2. If you have Lyme disease and are experiencing chest pain, irregular heartbeat, joint pain or numbness and tingling in your arms and legs, see your doctor immediately 2.

  • Most promptly treated ringworm cases clear up with no problem.
  • Signs of infection include fever and increased redness, swelling or pus discharge from your rash.