The term ringworm is derived from early beliefs that the infection was brought by a worm and it refers to fungal infections on the skin surface. Few fungi produce a rash of scaly spots on the skin surface but many don’t. A good diagnosis is best for a successful treatment.
Causes of ringworm
Ringworm is very contagious. It is caused through the following ways:
- From your pets
- From another person as it spreads by skin contact
- Touching objects that have the fungus that causes ringworm
- Working or standing barefoot on infected soil
Only few fungi cause skin disease, they are called dermotophytes which refers to skin fungi. Skin fungi only lives on the dead layer of protein on top of the skin, they rarely invade deeper as they cannot live on micousmembranes. Scientific names for the most types of skin fungi includes:Trichophytonrubrum, trichophytoninterdigitale, Trichophytontonsurans, Epidermophytonfloccosum and microsporumcanis. Moisture and heat helps the fungi grow which makes them commonly found in skin folds such as between the toes.
Ringworm begins as a flat scaly area and may be red and itchy. They form a roughly circular ring that develops a slightly raised border that expands outwards. The ring interior may be clear, scaly or marked with scattering of red bumps. Ringworm is rare before adolescence and occurs with other fungal infections.
Home remedies don’t cure ringworm. Anti fungal medications are necessary to take in order to cure ringworm. Ringworm is treated topically or systematically. Topical treatment is used when fungus affects the skin of the body; many anti fungal creams clear the condition in two weeks or less. These anti fungal creams are used to effectively cure many cases of foot fungus. Topically medications are necessary to be used for at least two weeks.
Some fungal don’t respond to external application hence you use systemic treatment. To penetrate areas like scalp fungus and nail fungus, oral medications are used. Griseofulvin tablet was the only effective anti fungal but other agents are now available that are safer and also effective. These medications are usually given for a period of three months.
Minimizing moisture and sweat may help prevent fungal infections. You can take more steps to prevent the spread of ringworm by not sharing towels, hair brushes, combs and also clothes. Always wearing shoes or sandals in locker rooms, gyms and at pools may help reduce your chances of contracting ringworm.