Ringworm infection or dermatophytosis is a fungal infection occurring in the skin. This infection can affect both animals as well as humans. It initially spreads with red patches in the affected area of the body and later starts spreading to other parts as well. This infection affects the skin on the beard, groin, scalp and other parts of the body. There are a lot of symptoms of ringworm such as scaly, red and itchy patches, patches which develop into blisters and later start to ooze, patches which are redder on the outside, usually resembling a ring and patches with defined or raised edges. Ringworm infection can also be experienced by some people on their nails. The symptom of this infection on the nails is characterized by the nails becoming discoloured, thicker and starting to crack. If your scalp is affected, then the hair on the infected portion may start to fall off and you will have bald patches.
Three types of fungi called epidermophyton, microsporum and trichophyton is responsible for causing ringworm infection. These fungi live and thrive on soil as spores, it is possible that human or animals can contract this infection by coming in contact with the soil. Ringworm infection spreads quickly with contact and it is common in children by sharing items which might not be clean. Many people try to self treat this infection by avoiding clothing which irritates the infected area, covering the infection with a bandage, disinfecting clothes and bedding and cleaning their skin on a regular basis. Sometimes, these remedies don’t help to cure this infection, in such cases doctors can prescribe medicines such as antifungal creams or ointments.
If you experience symptoms of a ringworm infection, it is vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible. You will be asked to go through certain tests such as a fungal culture or skin biopsy test. In this test, the doctor extracts discharge from the blister and sends it for biopsy. You can also go through a KOH exam where the doctor will scrape off a tiny area of infected skin and put it inside potassium hydroxide (KOH). Then your skin tissue will be observed under a microscope. The doctor can also see your skin under a black light to see the traces of fungus on your skin. After the diagnosis is complete and it is proven that you have a ringworm infection, topical medicines like sprays, gels and antifungal ointment are prescribed. However, ringworm occurring on the nails and scalp may require a much powerful medicine like terbinafine, griseofulvin and ketoconazole.
Antifungal creams like miconazole and clotrimazole are very effective in treating ringworm infection. During your treatment it is vital not to scratch the infected area over and over again, as this might make you more susceptible in developing strep or staph infection. If at all, you get this infection along with the ringworm infection, your doctor can prescribe you powerful antibiotics to treat it completely.
Since this infection is common in children who own pet dogs and cats because these animals can easily catch the infection and pass it on to their owners. Therefore, these children should go for health check-ups at least once in three months. People using a public pool or public shower area are also at a high risk of getting this infection, hence they are eligible for an antifungal treatment.
If you have any allergies or medical conditions, you should take a doctor’s opinion before using antifungal medicines as it may interfere with your existing medical condition. People who are already undergoing treatment for some other medical ailment should also consult their doctor before starting this treatment.
After you get treated from ringworm with the help of antifungal medicines, it is important to maintain hygiene and take good care of your health so that the infection doesn’t reoccur. It is vital to wash your hands after touching or interacting with animals, also try to disinfect your pets as much as possible, avoid physical contact with animals or people who have a ringworm infection, use shampoos and take a shower regularly, wear protective shoes while going out and keep your body clean and dry at all times. You should also avoid sharing items like hairbrushes and clothes with people who already have a ringworm infection.
Antifungal ointments can heal the ringworm infection in about two to four weeks. If it is used regularly and more than once a day, the infection can heal sooner. If the symptoms are taking more than four weeks to disappear then your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics along with your antifungal medicines. Majority of the patients suffering from a ringworm infection, respond positively to antifungal medications.
The price of antifungal creams is approximately Rs. 20 to Rs.200 in India.
The results of this treatment are permanent to some extent. However, it doesn’t prevent you from getting the infection later in life if you don’t maintain personal hygiene.
Apart from antifungal creams, ringworm infection can be treated with the use of topical medications, antibiotics, strong oral medications, etc. However, oral medication is given for a 3 months course.
Fungal skin diseases are brought about by various sorts of fungi and are the main reasons behind an irritated skin. Fungi attack and develop in dead keratin, a protein that makes up your skin, hair and nails. The various sorts of fungal diseases are caused by various groups of fungi. Some common fungal skin infections include ringworm, intertrigo, nail infections, Athlete’s foot, etc.
The likelihood of fungal infections increase in the following cases:
Fungal rashes can at times be mistaken for other skin conditions, for example, psoriasis and eczema. Fungal skin diseases can bring about a number of skin rashes; some of them being red, textured and itchy. The organism can influence only one region, or a few zones of your body. In the event that you get a fungal disease of your scalp, you might lose some hair. There are steps which can be performed in order to protect yourself from getting a parasitic skin contamination:
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
When skin is infected by a fungus, the resultant infection is called tinea corporis (ringworm). It is most common in athletes and children. The infection may appear on the scalp, beards, groin, in between the toes and other places.
Tinea corporis can be caused by:
1. Skin contact
2. It is contagious, so if you use towels, bed linens and clothes of an infected person, you will get infected too.
3. Touching a pet infected by tinea corporis.
Signs and Symptoms
1. The rash starts as a scant area of red, bumpy pimples and spots. Then the rash forms a ring, with raised, red borders and a clear middle. The border might look scaly.
2. The rash may show up on face, legs, arms or other body areas which are exposed.
3. The area feels itchy. It might also be flaky and dry. You might even experience hair loss in the infected area.
The skin in the area will be gently scraped off and the sample will be collected. Then, the sample will be viewed under a microscope. That will help discerning, which type of fungus is causing the infection.
The following treatment regime must be followed:
1. The skin must be kept dry and clean.
2. Fungal creams are best. Creams that contain miconazole, ketoconazole, clotrimazole or oxiconazole are excellent for fungal infections.
3. Only apply the cream on clean skin. You can use it twice in a day. Bandaging the infected area is not recommended.
4. To prevent the infection from spreading, wash your towels in warm water and use clean towels every time you bathe. Also, clean the bathroom and wear freshly washed clothes.
5. If pets are infected, treat them as well.
The infection usually goes away under 4 weeks. The infection may branch out to the nails, groin, scalp and feet. Self-care is effective, but if symptoms persist, then do consult a specialist. Ringworms have certain complications, such as scratching the skin too much causes skin infections and other skin disorders, which may need further treatment.
Ringworm is one of the common skin infections; the funny part is that, it isn’t a worm at all. Ringworm is called so because of the patchy ring like mark it leaves on the skin.
Ringworm is caused by fungus (Tinea) that lives off keratin and dead skin. A lot of people associate Ringworm with insect bite, because they assume it is a worm, but that is not the case.
Here is a quick overview of causes of Ringworm, its symptom, as well as its treatment options.
How do one get Ringworm in the first place?
Symptoms of Ringworm
Types of Ringworm
Treatment of Fungal Infection or Ringworm
Treatment for Ringworm usually involves ointments. These ointments are usually applied on inflamed skin. Some ointments are specifically applied on the foot area that is inflamed because of Tinea pedis fungus. There are also anti-fungal tablets that can be taken. These oral medicines are given when the disease is in its advance stages and when the ointment didn’t work in the first place.
Ringworm is a highly contagious disease, that it is why it is important to be vigilant about the surroundings. And if someone is already suffering from it, steps should be taken to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Ringworm is a type of fungal infection occurring on the skin of a person. Ringworm does not involve the presence of any kind of actual worms whatsoever. It is so named because of the circular scaly infection on the skin, which almost appears as if a worm is present beneath the skin.
Why the fungi arise on the skin is unclear. However, these skin infections are highly contagious, so people coming in contact with those already having the disease could naturally develop the ringworm lesions. The fungi also require warm and moist conditions to thrive in. People working in waterlogged conditions or those walking barefoot on wet floors near swimming pools; public washrooms etc could all develop ringworm based on their immunity levels.
Symptoms of Ringworm:
Reddish, scaly or white patches on the skin.
The lesions may appear raised and blistered.
The circular lesion might have a clearing in the center.
Hair loss is a common side effect of this disease. Ringworm of scalp especially is characterized by patchy hair loss where the hair might be bent and broken at an odd angle. Dandruff might also be present. Thankfully, there are many effective homeopathic remedies for ringworm on scalp.
Though mostly ringworm is treated with conventional medicines and allopathic treatment, there are certain recurring ringworms on which traditional medicines slowly lose effect. Such infections can be controlled and cured with the help of homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like curing like’. This means, the homeopath takes a bit of the plant material, deactivates it and just like a vaccine, infuses the patient’s body with small quantities of it. Popular homeopathic remedies for treating ringworm are:
Sepia: It is obtained from the ink of a squid. It has been found that contact with the squid causes symptoms similar to the ones caused by ringworms. Thus, it is a remarkable cure for this disease. However, before actually administering this medicine, the homeopath doctor would ask several questions to understand the nature of the disease occurring to you. Such questions would include your sensitivity to heat and cold or how many times in the past has ringworm infected you. Only when the practitioner is sure of the fact that sepia is the correct treatment, would he prescribe it to you. This is a great cure for ringworms occurring in children as well.
Sulphur: Ringworms not only affect a person on the skin of his/her body, it might also occur on the scalp. These ringworms can cause a lot of itching, irritation, hair loss, pus in the scalp etc. For treating such types of ringworm, one can apply sulphur-based creams or ointments on the affected area on the scalp. Sulphur is seen to help in fighting the ringworms and thus providing relief from all the itching and irritation on the scalp.
Rhus Toxicodendron: This medicine is obtained when leaves of the poison ivy plants are distilled overnight. Contact with poison ivy leaves also causes similar symptoms as ringworms and thus, it is known to be a good cure for the disease.
Ringworms on Animals-
At times, even animals like cats and dogs can be affected by ringworms. Symptoms would include loss of hair in patches, itchy hair, white or blackish patches on the body and others. A specialised vet should be referred to for a medicated shampoo besides a homeopath. Medicines like Sepia or Chrysarobinum are administered to treat ringworms in animals.
Thus, ringworm is a very common form of a disease and is easily treatable whether in humans or animals. One would need to follow the course of their medicine and take to patience for getting it cured as soon as possible.
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.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!