Introduction To Ring Worm:
Ringworm is a fungal disease that spreads from person and in medical terms it is known as tinea corporis. It develops on the surface of the skin. The name is a misnomer as it is not a worm infestation rather a fungal infection that spreads in a ring like pattern.
Who Catches Infection Of Ring Worm?
Ringworm infection is more common amongst men than women while children in comparison to adults catch it more. Frankly speaking, it can occur to anybody at any age and it is considerably contagious as it spreads from one person to other by sharing things like hairbrushes, hair combs and even clothes.
If you get in contact with the skin of someone having this infection, there is a strong likelihood that you will catch this infection too. If you have an infected locker room or an infected pool side, your chances of catching the infection increase significantly. If your pet is infected, you can catch the disease from it too.
Ring worm can develop on more than one place on your body. Ringworm is named according to the place it develops on your body for instance, if it develops on your scalp, it is tinea capitis, if it occurs in the groin region it is tinea cruris, if it involves your nails, it is Onychomycosis. Athlete’s foot is also included in the category of ringworm. The ringworm anywhere else on the body or the skin is known as tinea corporis.
Types of Ringworm:
Fungal infections of Nails:
Groin and Feet infections:
You can get rid of scalp ringworm by using an antifungal shampoo in conjunction with antifungal tablets.
There are two main antifungal tablets.
Mostly, the people who get scalp infection are treated by Terbinafine tablets. The drug is quite effective in treating scalp ringworm and the prescription normally is one tablet daily for four weeks.
Griseofulvin may also be used in place of terbinafine. It comes in the form of a spray and is mostly taken daily for a period of 8 to 10 weeks.
Antifungal shampoos are also used in combination with tablets. They may not treat the ringworm but they prevent its spread and speed up the recovery from infection. It is ideal to use the shampoo twice a week during the first few weeks of the treatment.
In most cases you can get rid of body ringworm by using an over the counter gel, cream or spray. The gels and creams are of various types and it is good to ask your pharmacist to aid you in selecting the regimen.
The antifungal cream is applied daily to the skin for a period of 2 weeks. It is wise to read the instructions on the package by the manufacturer but in general the cream is applied on the rash and on one inch of the adjoining skin.
Your doctor may sometimes advise you to prolong your treatment two weeks further as it will prevent the risk of you getting reinfected.
You can also make use of the griseofulvin and turbinafine tablets to get rid of the infection.
Fungal infections of Nails:
Make use of the antifungal paints for nails or antifungal tablets. Normally the antifungal tablets are a better option than antifungal paints but they may have their side effects like headache, nausea and diarrhea.
Groin and Feet infections:
Normally the groin infection occurs with feet infections as you can easily transfer the fungus from your feet to the groin while you shower and dress. It is important to get rid of both of them together as it will prevent any chance of further reinfection from either of the two conditions.
How To Determine If That Is Actually Ring Worm?
If you feel you have a ring shaped rash anywhere on your body, it is most likely ring worm. The doctor will diagnose it by scraping some tissue off your skin and then observing it under microscope.
Following are the symptoms you need to look out for in case of a fungal infection.
- Is there a reddish rash on your skin that itches?
- There might be a ring shaped pattern on the skin with the exterior being reddish while the interior is normal in color.
- Does your skin have a thick dry scaly appearance?
- Is the ring slowly increasing in size?
- You feel like you have several patches on your body.
- Bald areas on your scalp.
- Finger and toe nails become discolored.
What Causes Ring Worm?
It is caused by fungi called Dermatophytes. It is attracted to the keratin on the skin, nails, hair and skin. These areas are rich in keratin inviting the fungus.
People who are old or immune deficient are the ones most prone to get this fungal infection.
Common Symptoms Of Ringworm:
There are different types of ringworm which occur in various parts of body. Some of the types along with their symptoms are:
1. Ringworm On Scalp:
Scalp has ringworm which comes with the following package; sometimes the package is incomplete that is some of the symptoms are found and rest are not present.
- Baldness in small patches on the scalp.
- Scratchy, itchy and irritating scalp.
- Sore and scaly patches on the scalp.
- In trivial and risky conditions, scalp has pus filled sores.
- Covering over the patches on scalp.
- Fever can come along with spouting pus filled sores which are inflamed and larger than the usual size of the ringworm. Lymph gland is usually worked up and swollen in this worst kind of ringworm.
2. Jock Itch Or Ringworm On Groin:
Here is a list of symptoms which determine ringworm on groin or jock itch.
- Sores which are mostly reddish brown in color not always in the shape of a ring with pus in the sores.
- The groin is surrounded by soreness and prickliness.
- The area between inner thighs and abdomen has blistered and flaky skin.
Condition of jock itch or groin with ringworm’s get real bad when the effected person goes out to work out, wears something tight and walks for long.
3. Ringworm On An Athlete’s Feet:
Athlete or foot ringworm has its own symptoms. They are:
- Rashes which are mostly flaky in appearance with the dryness, redness and scratchy exists between the spaces of the toes.
- Spaces between the toes are cracked and have blisters with swelling and burning sensations on the affected area.
- Pattern of scales are found on the soles.
- Sides of the foot have patterns of scales.
4. Ringworm On Nail Or Fungus:
Fungus on the nail or ringworm on nails have following symptoms:
- Congealed whitish nail.
- Color of the nail can change into, black, white, yellow or green.
- Nail becomes hard and starts to lose skin which eventually makes it fall.
- Nail has irritated and painful skin.
5. Ringworm On Body:
Body ringworm’s can be noticed by the help of the following symptoms:
- In some of the most serious conditions the rings may increase rapidly both in size and number of patches.
- The condition can turn bad when ringworm is not smooth on skin but somewhat raised from the skin and have rashes which are usually very itchy.
- Skin on the rash is red in color.
How To Get Rid Of Ringworm?
You can easily get rid of ring worm by using Antifungal creams, tablets and shampoos.
You can also use the following treatments to get rid of the ringworm infection all by your own self.
- Give the areas suffering from ringworm a thorough wash and also give particular attention to the skin folds and the skin adjoining to our toes.
- If you have groin or foot ringworm, you should wear clean underwear as the fungus has the property of surviving in skin flakes.
- Avoid sharing combs, hairbrushes and hats.
- Wear clothes that have a loose fitting.
Prevention Of Ring Worm:
Prevention is always better than cure; wouldn’t it be better to prevent a situation than get rid of it? Following are a few steps to avoid having ringworm infections:
- Adopt the habit of regularly and properly washing your hands.
- Avoid sharing your personal items with others.
- Make it a regular thing to change your underwear and socks.
- If you have a pet and you see any signs of fungal infections on him, be careful and avoid further contact until the condition is sorted out.
- It is important to ensure if your barber or hairstylist is making use of clean tools.So by using this measures one can easily get rid of ringworm infections and also prevent them.