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Ringworm - Causes And Treatment

Dr. Keyur Shah 82% (70 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Ahmedabad  •  22 years experience
Ringworm - Causes And Treatment

Ringworm is a skin condition that is caused by certain kinds of fungi. It causes severe itching and is mainly found around the scalp and feet. This contagious skin condition can also occur as athlete's foot. The symptoms include red, itchy and scaly patches on the affected areas. These patches may also develop blisters and develop crusted red edges, giving it the appearance of a ring. These patches are usually raised or defined. There are many myths and facts surrounding ringworm. Let us find out more about them.

  • Causes: It is a common myth that this skin condition is caused by a worm. This is not true. This fungal skin infection is caused by fungi known as dermatophytes, which can cause a crusty and red patch on the skin. Ringworm is actually the name given to a class of skin ailments and infections caused on the scalp, feet and other parts of the body.
  • Treatment: Another common myth is that this skin infection will clear up on its own. This is not true either. One will have to start treatment of the condition with the help of proper diagnosis, which can be done by a skin specialist or dermatologist. Not treating this condition on time with topical ointments can lead to a spread of the condition where it can affect other parts of the body. This condition can also lead to other symptoms like hair loss. It can also become a permanent issue if not treated on time and with proper medical intervention.
  • Over the Counter Medication: Many people think that using over the counter antifungal creams can help in treating this condition effectively. This is part myth and part fact. One will have to visit the doctor in case the condition does not clear up on time with the use of such topical ointments. The creams should typically be prescribed by a skin specialist after due diagnosis of the problem so that it suits your individual symptoms and condition. Further, these creams should usually be prescribed for a period of at least four to six weeks so that the treatment is effective.
  • Contagious: It is a myth that ringworm is not a contagious skin disease. The fact is that this skin ailment is a highly contagious one, that can happen even when there is contact with an infected animal. There are 50% chances of contracting this condition with mere touch that can happen with an infected animal or person.
  • Barber's Itch: This is not a form of lice, as many people believe. This is a form of ringworm that can be found in the beard with symptoms like itching as well as swelling.

If you wish to discuss about any specific skin problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.

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