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What is Ringworm?

Worms don’t usually cause ringworm. This irritable skin infection, which is also known as, Tinea, is mostly caused by fungi. Fungi are known as microscopic organisms that live off the dead cells and tissues of the skin, hair and even nails.

Ringworm is identifiable by a red ring in the shape of a small blister or a red ring of rough skin, which grows outwards as the infection spreads.


What causes Ringworm?


The most common cause of ringworm is fungi that grows on the skin. When the fungi is fully developed, it then spreads out in rings. At the middle of the ring, the infections may clear up, but a new ring of infection usually develops at the corner of the old ring.

Children are more at risk of developing ringworm than adults because ringworms of the scalp may spread from one child to another when children share hats, combs and brushes.


Ringworm can spread in different ways:

  • When someone shares a towel;
  • Clothing;
  • Sports equipment;

One way in which to prevent ringworms is to keep hygienic.
Animals can also get infected with ringworm, and they can easily spread it to humans through direct contact.



Symptoms of Ringworm


Ringworms on the scalp may cause:

  • Hair loss;
  • Dry hair;
  • Dry scalp;
  • Itchy scalp;
  • A red ring on the scalp consisting of small blisters;

Ringworm on the body:

  • The development of a red ring of small blisters;
  • An itchy body all the time;


Diagnosing Ringworm

  • The doctor will look at the infected area of the body with a medical light, which can tell if there are any traces of fluorescent materials that occur in a ringworm infection.
  • The doctor may then scrape or cut an area of the infected skin and look at it under a microscope.
  • Take a piece of skin to find out if there is any fungus that is causing it in order to select the best medication for the infection.


Treatment for Ringworm


Doctors usually prescribe an antifungal medicine to patients that have ringworms. This medication helps to control the fungus and prevent it from coming back.


The antifungal medication should be spread on the skin as a medicated shampoo, powder, cream, etc. Some people even take pills so that the medication can spread throughout the body.



Preventing Ringworms


Living a good hygienic lifestyle will help prevent ringworm. A parent should teach their children not to share their combs, brushes, clothing, towels and even hats with anyone; this is because we may never know what the next person may be infected with.

Ringworms can also be seen in cats and dogs; one should avoid petting animals that have certain bald spots on their skin and coating and be sure to take their pet to the vet for clarification as ringworm is easily spread between pets and humans.

 

 

 

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