Ringworm is also known as tinea or dermatophytosis. It is a skin infection due to fungus. It is a circular rash or a ring-like red and itchy infection. Anyone can get ringworm as the fungi that cause this infection to live on the skin, household items, and clothing. Other names for ringworm are depending on its location on the body.
Ringworm infection can affect both humans and animals. The infection starts as red patches on affected areas of the skin and spreads to the body. It may affect the scalp, feet, nails, groin, beard, or other parts.
Symptoms of Ringworm
- Itchy and red skin
- Scaly skin patches and raised areas of skin or plaques
- Patches and blisters
- Red patches on the outside that resembles a ring
- Patches with edges that are defined and raised
How do you get a Ringworm?
- From another person. Ringworm often spreads by skin-to-skin contact.
- From your pets. Wash your hands after grooming your pet to prevent infections. Ringworms are also typical in cows.
- Touching objects. Ringworm spreads on surfaces, towels, clothes, and other things. Ensure to disinfect your hands by washing them with soap and water.
- From soil. Walking or standing barefoot in soil that is infected with the fungus that causes ringworm can spread the fungus.
Types of Ringworm
- Tinea pedis or ringworm on the feet
- Tinea cruris or ringworm on the groin, buttocks, and inner thighs
- Tinea barbae or ringworm on the beard area
- Tinea manuum or ringworm on the hands
- Tinea capitis or ringworm on the scalp
- Tinea unguium or ringworm on the fingernails and toenails
- Tinea corporis or ringworm on other parts of the body
Causes and Risk Factors of Ringworm
- Direct contact of an infected person
- Touching items that are contaminated with the fungi
- Playing with pets
- Wet skin for a lengthier period
- Nail and skin injuries
- Sharing towels, clothes, razors, and other things without disinfecting or washing them
- Obese and diabetic
- Wearing tight clothing
- Weakened immune system
How to Diagnose Ringworm?
Your healthcare provider can diagnose ringworm by looking at the affected skin and assessing your symptoms. Your doctor may also take a small skin scraping and examine it under a microscope. If left untreated, ringworm can spread in the body and worsen the condition.
Treatment for Ringworm
Your doctor may recommend antifungal medications. Over-the-counter medications and topical treatments are also available. Ensure to finish the treatment period to avoid the infection from reoccurring after a few weeks of treatment.