What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that is also known as dermatophytosis, dermatophyte infection, or tinea. Ringworm is so named because it can cause a circular (ring-shaped) rash that is usually red and itchy. It can affect anyone. It normally occurs as a circular, itchy rash that is clearer in the center. Ringworm is so named because of the way it appears. There is no worm involved.
It can infect both humans and animals. In affected areas, the infection first appears as discolored, often scaly patches. These patches are usually red on lighter skin and brown-gray on darker skin. Source
Types of Ringworm
The following are the most common types of ringworm:
The athlete’s foot (tinea pedis): This common condition primarily affects male adolescents and adults. It affects children less frequently before puberty. Sweating, not thoroughly drying the feet after swimming or bathing, wearing tight socks and shoes, and warm weather conditions are all contributing factors.
Jock itch (tinea cruris): This affects warm, wet parts of the body, resulting in a red, itchy rash. The ring-shaped rash frequently appears on the inner thighs and groin.
Hair ringworm (tinea capitis): Ringworm of the scalp is brought on by a fungus on the head, it typically results in bald patches that are itchy and scaly.
Infected nails (tinea unguium): This type of nail infection causes a thicker, malformed nail on the finger or toe. The toenails are more frequently impacted by this illness than the fingernails.
Human ringworm (tinea corporis): A ring-shaped rash that can appear anywhere on the body or face. All ages experience it, although youngsters experience it more frequently. In warmer climates, it is more prevalent.
What causes Ringworm
It is a contagious fungal condition brought on by common parasites that resemble mold and live on the skin’s surface cells. . The fungi can spread to humans in various ways:
- From one person to another – You can get it if you come into contact with someone who has it or if you share personal items like combs or towels. The infection is commonly spread among children and through the sharing of fungus-infected items.
- From a ringworm-infected animal – It can be contracted by touching an infected animal. Ringworm can be transmitted to humans by a variety of animals, including dogs and cats, particularly kittens and puppies. Ringworm can also be spread by other animals such as cows, goats, pigs, and horses.
- From human objects – It can spread through contact with objects or surfaces touched or rubbed against by an infected person or animal, such as clothing, towels, bedding and linens, combs, and brushes.
- From the surroundings – Ringworm fungi can live on surfaces, particularly in damp areas such as locker rooms and public showers. As a result, it’s best not to walk barefoot in these areas. Pointer
If you live in a warm, humid environment or climate, you are more likely to get ringworm on the body if you:
- Engage in physical sports like football or wrestling
- Use public restrooms or showers
- Come into close contact with animals
- Wear clothing or shoes that irritate your skin
- Suffer from diabetes
- Are obese or overweight
- Sweat a lot
- Having a weak immune system
In most cases, the ringworm fungus causes symptoms to appear 4 to 14 days after skin contact.
Depending on the part of the body that is afflicted, it’s symptoms and indications might vary, however, they frequently include the:
- Skin itching
- Rash with rings
- Cracked, scaly, and red skin
- Hair fall
- Red, swollen skin
It can appear on –
A physical examination and medical history are typically used to diagnose ringworm. By examining the area that is affected and asking about your symptoms, your doctor may conclude that you have ringworm. Ringworm lesions are distinctive and typically enable a diagnosis to be made based only on a physical examination. Your doctor may typically scrape a small piece of skin or nail to examine under a microscope or send it to a lab for additional testing.
It may be difficult to treat ringworm. A fungus is typically to blame, and it can spread even before symptoms appear. Follow these instructions to lower your risk of developing ringworm:
- Oral antifungal medication is typically taken for several weeks as part of the treatment for nail infections or scalp ringworm. The use of a specific shampoo may also be part of the treatment for scalp ringworm in order to aid in the fungus’ removal.
- Body, groin, and foot ringworm are often treated with either a topical antifungal treatment or an oral antifungal medication such as – Creams
- Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and antifungal skin lotions may also be suggested by your doctor.
- Oral medicines with prescription strength, such as griseofulvin (Gris-PEG) or terbinafine, may be required for ringworm of the scalp or nails. Source
Your doctor could advise you to treat the infection at home considering:
- The potential for ringworm infection from diseased people or animals.
- Apply coconut oil to your body
- Use essential oils to treat ringworm such as oregano oil, lemongrass oil, and tea tree oil.
- To treat ringworm, apply cotton balls soaked in apple cider vinegar to affected areas of the skin three times per day.
- To make an antifungal paste, combine turmeric, a common spice, and water. Allow drying after applying the paste directly to your skin.
Can Ringworm be prevented?
The fungi that cause it are found all over the place. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting it or to prevent it from spreading:
- Regularly wash your hands. Particularly at gyms, locker rooms, schools, and child care centers keep communal areas clean.
- After bathing, properly dry your skin.
- Putting on loose clothing in the affected areas
- Don’t let anyone else use your personal belongings, including your clothes, towels, hairbrushes, and sporting goods.
If you participate in sports, keep your equipment and uniform clean, and don’t share them with other players. Source