Ringworm: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Medikoe Wellness Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Aug 21, 2019
Ringworm, scientifically known as dermatophytosis or tinea, is a fungal infection, causing a silvery ring-like rash on the skin. Ringworm infection can affect both humans and animals. It can occur anywhere in the face, neck, hand, scalp, groin, beard or nails.
WHAT CAUSES RINGWORM?
Three different types of fungi can cause ringworm infection - trichophyton, Microsporum and epidermophyton. These fungi may live for an extended period as spores in the soil. Infection can spread through:
- Human to human contact
- Human to animal contact
- Human to object contact
- Human to soil contact
SYMPTOMS OF RINGWORM
Symptoms vary depending on where you have been infected. However, these are common symptoms:
- Red, itchy, scaly patches
- Patches that form blisters or begin to ooze
- Patches that may be redder on the outside edges and resemble a ring
- Patches with defined and raised edges
HOW DO YOU GET RINGWORM?
Ringworm is highly contagious and there are several ways of catching it:
- Ringworm often spreads by skin-to-skin contact.
- You can get ringworm from your pets. So wash your hands when you are finished.
- You can get it through clothes, towels, combs and brushes.
- A person can get ringworm by working or standing barefoot in soil.
DIAGNOSIS OF RINGWORM
A ringworm infection is quite evident just by looking at it. However, if it’s difficult to come up with a diagnosis, your doctor may take some skin scrapings sample from the affected area for examination.
TREATMENT OF RINGWORM
Most anti-fungal creams, lotions and tablets can easily treat fungal infections. You should wash the affected area thoroughly and keep it clean. Wear a bandage around the infection. Change your clothes regularly and wear loose-fitting clothes. Do not share your comb, towel, bed linen and clothes.
PREVENTION OF RINGWORM
You can prevent ringworm by incorporating the following practices.
- Wash your hands after touching an animal.
- Disinfect and clean pet living areas.
- Avoid people or animals with ringworm until it’s treated.
- Shower and shampoo your hair regularly.
- Wear shoes if showering in community washrooms or one frequented by a lot of other people.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
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