“Ringworm” may be considered a misleading medical term because when you look ringworm patches you can easily believe that a worm is the real culprit. In reality the ringworm is not a worm but a fungus.
If you are confronting with a skin infection provoked by a fungus, this can make you feel uncomfortable and self conscious. The bad thing is that it is possible; nobody knows what the real problem is! More on, many times the medication cannot resolve the problem because many fungi are resistant to the common medications.
Ringworm means a fungal infection provoked by Dermatophytes, which are mold fungi. Ringworm is also called Tinea.
Ringworm is contagious. It is transmitted through the direct contact with infected people, things or animals. If the things we come in contact with are infected, (as hats, brushes, clothes, towels, etc) we can get ill, too. It can also spread from the animals to people or from the soil to the people. The persons who have a weak or a compromised immune system are more prone to get infected with ringworm. Children are usually more prone to suffer from this infection.
Swimming pools, the mats for gym, stalls at the gym and shower areas are the most common places where people can become infected with this fungus.
Because pets can easily come in contact with contaminated soil, they can be easily infested with ringworm. So it is advisable to take your pets to the veterinarian for regularly controls.
Ringworm can appear on those parts of the body that have keratinized skin except the mucus membranes and the eyeballs. The most common areas where you can find it are: the nails, fingers, scalp, toes, thighs and groin area. Depending on the infected area the symptoms are mild or very severe.
You can recognize ringworm after the circular patches that appear on the skin. These circular patches are red and circular and the redness usually diminishes to the center. The circle outer edge is a little more elevated in the interior of the circle and along the surface the skin is flaky and dry. Sometimes the skin looks bumpy and crusted.
If the fingernails are infected, then the nails are thick, brittle and yellow and they break very easy. Many times ringworm appears between the toes. Toes cracking, flaking and itching are the most common symptoms in this case. When the ringworm appears on the scalp it can be observed a hair loss over the affected area.
If you confront with these symptoms you must start the treatment immediately. The most common treatments against ringworm are Tinactin, Nizoral, Demasil and Lotrimin. You must wash and properly dry the affected area every day and you must change your clothes daily. Using the towel you can easily spread the infection so, after the shower dry the healthy areas of your body first and then the affected area.
There are also natural remedies that can help you to get rid of ringworm. For example apple cider vinegar, raw papaya, garlic, turmeric, iodine solutions, dead sea salt and lavender oil have proved to be efficient treatments against ringworm.
Ringworm is not a very grave disease but, unfortunately it is extremely contagious. It can be treated easily enough and the treatment usually lasts a few weeks. The good news is that it can be easily avoided. A proper hygiene can prevent the apparition of ringworm.