December 22 21:29 2019 Print This Article

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. The fungi that cause Ringworm of the foot and Ringworm of the nails live only in humans. The fungus that causes Ringworm of the body lives in humans, animals, and soil. Dogs and cats are susceptible to three forms of ringworm. Our feline friends are the reservoir for the most common form of ringworm in pets. It is also called Tinea.

People with ringworm on other parts of their skin can have a ring-shaped rash that is reddish and may be itchy. Ringworm tends to be very itchy and uncomfortable. Over time, it may begin to look like a ring or a series of rings with raised, bumpy, scaly borders (the center is often clear).Ringworm gets its name from the characteristic ring that can appear, but it has nothing to do with an actual worm under your skin. Fungi are microscopic plants that can live off the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails, much like a mushroom can grow on the bark of a tree.

Jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm are all types of fungal skin infections known collectively as tinea. The name comes from the characteristic red ring that can appear on an infected person’s skin. Ringworm can affect skin on your body ( tinea corporis ), scalp ( tinea capitis ), groin area ( tinea cruris, also called jock itch), or feet.

People will sometimes pick up a case of Ringworm from their pet, but just because a pet has Ringworm does not necessarily mean that the people that interact with that pet will develop the problem. Studies show that in 30 percent to 70 percent of households where the cat has ringworm, at least one person will get it. If you suspect that your child has ringworm, you may want to call your child’s doctor. A proper diagnosis is essential to successful treatment.

Causes of Ringworm

The comman causes of Ringworm include the following:

  • Ringworm is caused by several different fungus organisms that all belong to a group called ” Dermatophytes”.
  • Human to human: Ringworm often spreads by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
  • Ringworm occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails.
  • Soil to human: In rare cases, ringworm can be spread to humans by contact with infected soil.
  • Animal to human. You can contract ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm. Ringworm can spread while petting or grooming dogs or cats.

Symptoms of Ringworm

Some sign and symptoms related to Ringworm are as follows:

  • Ringworm of the skin causes itching, redness of the skin, and circular sores. The sores usually have a red edge and a clear center.
  • Slightly raised expanding rings of red, scaly skin on your trunk or face.
  • If nails are infected, they become discolored, thick, and even crumble.
  • Ringworm of the scalp usually begins as a small pimple that becomes larger, leaving scaly patches of temporary baldness.
  • The ring spreads outwards and the centre may heal and go back to a normal skin colour.
  • Sometimes after an episode of athlete’s foot, if particles enter the bloodstream, there may be an allergic reaction causing blisters on the fingers, toes or hands.
  • Jock itch causes red, scaly patches that may itch or burn.
  • Barber’s itch – Symptoms often include kerion and crusted skin on bearded areas of the face and neck.

Treatment of Ringworm

Here is list of the methods for treating Ringworm:

  • Antifungal creams are effective in clearing most cases of ringworm on the body (apart from scalp and nail infections).
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan).
  • Scalp ringworm: Use antifungal shampoo containing selenium sulfide or a prescription shampoo.
  • Econazole (Spectazole).
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox).
  • Over the counter antifungal creams usually include drugs such as clotrimazole and miconazole.
  • Wash sheets and nightclothes every day while infected.
  • Ringworm of the groin: Wear cotton underwear and change it more than once a day. Keep the infected area dry. Use antifungal powder and/or lotion.