Ringworm Infection - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Ringworm Infection And Ways To Prevent It
Ringworm is commonly known as a skin infection which is caused due to a fungus. Often, when a person suffers from a ringworm infection, then they can see different patches of ringworm growing all over their skin. Ringworm has emerged to come out as a very common as well as infectious skin condition which causes a red, ring shaped rash all over the body of the affected person. This disease is found to be very common amongst children, but is known to affect people of all ages.
Denying a common misconception, Ringworm is not caused by any worm. It is a skin infection which is also known by the name of tinea and is caused by a fungus, known as dermatophytes.
Causes of Ringworm
Since many bacteria and fungi thrive on the human skin, the chances of contracting infections are manifold. Ringworm is caused commonly in children and adults due to a fungal infection. Ringworm is caused when a fungus named Tinea grows over the body of the affected person and multiplies over a period of time. Ringworm is known to affect different areas all over the body. Some of these are as follows:
- Beard – Ringworm infection of the beard is caused due to tinea barbae
- Body – Ringworm over the body is caused due to tinea corporis.
- Feet – Ringworm infection over the feet is caused due to tinea pedis. This infection is also known as athlete’s feet.
- Genital area – Ringworm infection over the genital area is caused due to tinea cruris. This is also known as jock itch.
- Scalp – Ringworm infection over the scalp area is caused by tinea capitis.
Ringworm infection tends to spread easily from one person to the other. In case of children, the ringworm infection of the scalp can spread from one person to the other by the sharing of the hats, combs, brushes etc. Infection over the other body parts is caused due to the spread of the towels, clothing or even sports equipments. Pets such as dogs and cats too can be the carriers of the disease as they can spread it from one person to the other through the direct contact. The ringworm fungus thrives in warm and humid areas. Therefore, when a person sweats excessively, he is at a greater risk of contracting the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm Infection
Ringworm is very easy to detect. Often, a person suffering from the disease develops a red, inflamed patch of skin which itches. The outer part of this patch is more itchy and is inflamed. Thus, this looks like a ring. Gradually, this patch becomes larger with the passage of time and starts itching.
Some of the major symptoms of the disease are as follows:
- Red, itchy as well as scaly patches all over the body that may ooze.
- Blisters all over the body
- Red patches with a defined edge, which resembles a ring.
- Patches which are redder around the outside region and with a normal skin tone within the centre.
Ringworm of the scalp contains of the following symptoms:
- Dryness and brittleness of the hair
- Loss of hair and emergence of patches
- Severe itching all over the scalp
- Creation of red ringed patches accompanied by blisters all over the scalp.
Tests and Diagnosis for Ringworm Infections
Once you encounter any of the above mentioned symptoms, then it is recommended to see the doctor regarding the feasible treatment options. The doctor upon examination is able to recognize the rashes arising from ringworm infections.
In most of the cases, the doctors look at the infection with the help of the UV radiations in order to trace the florescent particles which are a major characteristic for ringworm infections.
Also, the effected region of the skin is scraped and then the sample is checked under the microscope for the affirmation of ringworm.
In some cases, the sample of the scraped skin is removed and is allowed to grow under a culture. Later, this culture is checked in order to find out which fungus is the causative factor for the infection.
Treatment Options for Ringworm Infections
Often for the treatment of Ringworm, antifungal creams are prescribed to the patients. There are different kinds of antifungal creams which are available in the market such as clotrimazole, econazole, terbinafine or miconazole. These have proved to be good for the treatment for Ringworm.
Some of the good options for treatment are as follows:
- Application of the antifungal cream surrounding the 4-6 cm of the skin in addition to the rash.
- Application of the cream for a mentioned duration of time. The time duration for the application should be as advised by the doctor.
- In case your skin in inflamed greatly, antifungal cream is combined with a mixture of a mild steroid cream. This is prescribed for a period of seven days. The steroid goes out to reduce the inflammation of the skin and reduces the itchiness as well as the redness. Also, it kills the fungus.
Prevention of Ringworm Infections
The best way to prevent Ringworm infection is to maintain a good personal hygiene. It is recommended to not share items of personal hygiene such as combs, brushes or even clothing materials. Also, it is recommended that children should not be sharing their towels, clothes or other equipment without being cleaned properly beforehand.
Since pets are another great source for the infection, it is recommended to check the pets for bald spots or itching all over the coat. In case, you suspect that your pet is suffering from ringworm, then it is recommended to get them checked by the vet immediately.