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Everything You Need To Know About Ringworm

Dr Sheetal Bhatia

Dr Sheetal Bhatia

  Domlur, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   3 min     


Ringworm, scientifically known as dermatophytosis or tinea, is a fungal infection, causing a silvery ring-like rash on the skin. Ringworm is a common fungal infection. However, ringworm is nothing to do with worms. Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance. No actual worm is involved. Ringworm infection can affect both humans and animals. It can occur anywhere in the face, neck, hand, scalp, groin, beard or nails. Ringworm is caused by a fungus that eats keratin, a protein found in skin, hair, and nails. Ringworm occurs in people of all ages, but it is particularly common in children.

It can be spread through close contact with-

  • An infected person or animal

  • Infected objects – such as bedsheets, combs or towels

  • Infected soil – although this is less common

The medical term for ringworm is tinea. The skin disease is further named for the site of the body where the infection occurs. Some types of ringworm infection include tinea corporis, tinea capitis, tinea pedis("athlete's foot"), and tinea cruris ("jock itch"). Tinea is a fungal infection of the skin. Tinea is also known as ringworm. This is because it can cause red patches on the skin in the shape of rings. But it’s not caused by worms. It’s caused by different types of fungi. Tinea infection can affect any part of the body. Tinea infections of the feet, nails, and genital area are not often called ringworm. This is because the red patches may not look like rings. But it most often occurs in moist areas of the body and around the hair. Ringworm is contagious and can be passed through direct contact from person to person.

Ringworm causes

Three different types of fungi can cause ringworm infection - trichophyton, Microsporum and epidermophyton. These fungi may live for an extended period as spores in the soil. 

Infection can spread through-

  • Human to human contact

  • Human to animal contact

  • Human to object contact

  • Human to soil contact

Ringworm symptoms

Ringworm typically begins as a flat scaly area on the skin, which may be red and itchy. This patch develops a slightly raised border that expands outward — forming a roughly circular ring. Symptoms vary depending on where you have been infected. However, these are common symptoms:

  • Red, itchy, scaly patches

  • Patches that form blisters or begin to ooze

  • Patches that may be redder on the outside edges and resemble a ring

  • Patches with defined and raised edges

Ringworm treatment

The best and always the first ringworm medicine is a ringworm cream. Most anti-fungal creams, lotions, and tablets can easily treat fungal infections. You should wash the affected area thoroughly and keep it clean. Wear a bandage around the infection. Change your clothes regularly and wear loose-fitting clothes. Do not share your comb, towel, bed linen and clothes. Ringworm cure or prevention

You can prevent ringworm by incorporating the following practices-

  1. Wash your hands after touching an animal.

  2. Disinfect and clean pet living areas.

  3. Avoid people or animals with ringworm until it’s treated.

  4. Shower and shampoo your hair regularly.

  5. Wear shoes if showering in community washrooms or one frequented by a lot of other people.

  6. Avoid sharing personal items.

  7. Keep your feet clean and dry.

Diagnosing Ringworm

A ringworm infection is quite evident just by looking at it. However, if it’s difficult to come up with a diagnosis, your doctor may take some skin scrapings sample from the affected area for examination. Your doctor will diagnose ringworm by examining your skin and possibly using a black light to view your skin in the affected area. The fungus will fluoresce (glow) under black light. If you’re infected, the areas of the skin where the fungus is located will glow.

Homeopathy for Ringworm

  • Bacillinum

  • Sepia

  • Calcaria Carb

  • Sulfur

  •  Apis Mel

  • Tellurium

  • Merc Sol

  • Rhus Tox

  • Lachesis 

Home remedies for ringworm

  • Eating unripe papaya

  • Turmeric

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Neem

  • Garlic

  • Coconut

  • Cloves

  • Carrot

  • Carom seeds

  • Apple cider vinegar

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Tags:  Skin,Skin conditions,Healthy skin,General health ,Dental,

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