What You Need to Know About Ringworm (Tinea)

dermatophytosis

Ringworm also known as tinea, is a fungi infection caused by Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. These fungi can live on the skin, clothing and furniture. When you are infected, your skin develops a ring-like red rash on the infected area. As you read on you will discover the common symptoms of ringworm, how to get help if you suspect you have ringworm and what steps to take to protect you and your family from getting infected with ringworm.

What Causes Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungi infection and there are about 40 fungi species that cause ringworm. They are specifically known as; Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. They are together known as dermatophytes because they eat up the keratin which is abundantly present in the skin. They are extremely resilient and can live on the skin, towels, clothes, furniture for months. 

Types of ringworm

The type of ringworm is determined by the body part affected.

  • Tinea Capitis (Scalp ringworm): this is when you are infected with ringworm on your scalp.
  • Tinea Pedis (athlete’s foot): happens if you are infected on your foot by ringworm
  • Tinea Cruris (Jock itch): an infection in the groin area of your body.
  • Tinea Corporis (Body infection): common among children and sometimes adults.
  • Tinea Unguium: infection of the nail bed. 

Symptoms of Ringworm

If you notice any of the following symptoms, there is a strong likelihood you have been infected with ringworm and need to contact your healthcare provider immediately. You can speak with our professionals to get advice on how best to help you get better. 

  • Rash that is ring-like appear on the skin or scalp.
  • The Rash would be red and itchy.
  • Hair breaks around the affected area in a scalp infection.
  • Rash most time would become painful sore with pus in it.

How does ringworm Spread?

  • From person to person: When you get in contact with the infected skin of another person, the dermatophytes can spread to you.  
  • From animal to person: Pets and other household animals can spread dermatophytes to you.
  • From objects to a person: Towels, furniture and other household objects, when the fungi are on these surfaces they can easily spread to people.

Dermatophytes can equally spread from one part of the skin to another. Like from the foot to the scalp or other parts of the body. 

Diagnosis

Your doctor would physically examine your rash and other places of skin irritation. After which a scraping of your skin would be taken and examined under a microscope to detect the presence of dermatophytes.

Ways To Treat Ringworm

Here I will show you 7 ways to get rid of ringworm quickly.

You can use over the counter antifungal creams, powder and lotions like;

  • Terbinafine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Clotrimazole

You can also get rid of ringworm especially if the infection is at the scalp with prescription antifungal drugs. Like;

  • Fluconazole
  • Griseofulvin (fulcin) 
  • Terbinafine 

Ways to prevent ringworm and protect your family

  • Wash towels and beddings regularly
  • Take infected pets to the vet. for immediate treatment.
  • Avoid walking about barefoot
  • Take extra precautions in keeping your living area clean.
  • Wash hands regularly. 
  • Wipe surfaces regularly.
  • Avoid wearing moist underwear.
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