The ringworm infection is a contagious fungal skin infection not caused by a worm as the name would indicate. It can affect the skin on the body, the scalp, the nails, feet and the groin creases. It is spread by direct contact with the infected individual or an infected pet animal.
The affected area initially presents with a small flat, raised rash which then forms a clearing in the center surrounded by a raised ring border, which when untreated keeps spreading out in a circle with a center clear appearing like a ring hence the name ringworm.
Now, we will talk a little bit about the symptoms when it’s affecting the different parts of the body. Now, while on the scalp, it can start either as a small patches of scaling or itchy, red, bumpy rash on the scalp. This can be followed by the hair in the affected area becoming brittle and easily breakable. And later it can form smooth bald patches.
Now, while on the foot, it is called as athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. Now, here it is seen in the warm, moist web of the toes where the moisture from the sweat is trapped, when they are wearing close fitted shoes. Now this can appear as white patches with peeling and scaling at the webs and there can be thickening of the skin with overlying dryness when it affects the soles or heels.
Now, while on the body, it is known as tinea corporis. It is seen mostly in hot, humid climate. Here, people will present with the typical ringworm rash, which, if not treated can keep spreading to the other parts of the body.
Now most of the rashes are diagnosed upon clinical examination by a doctor. Some doctors may take a scraping from a rash and look under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
The most of the rashes on the body, which is a Tinea corporis, is treated with a topical anti-fungal ointment that needs to be applied on the affected area for about 1-2 weeks. Unless the rashes are extensive, you may need an oral antifungal medication also. Now infections on the scalp, known as tinea capitis, will require a prescribed oral anti-fungal medication for 2-12 weeks and an anti-fungal shampoo. Infection on the foot, known as tinea pedis, is treated with anti-fungal powder on the foot and in the shoes. And you need to wear open sandals until the infection clears up.
Avoid sharing personal items like clothing, towels, soaps, bedspreads, combs etc. Now, wear footwear when in community pools and in common shower areas as fungi from an infected foot can remain on the bathmat or the wet floors. Now, you need to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with an infected person. Get your infected pets treated fully and wash your hands with soap and anti-fungal lotion after handling them. Avoid contact sports and swimming until the infection is cleared up. Wear loose fitting clothes in hot and humid weather to prevent excessive sweating. You need to dry your body well after showering and stay clean.
Team Ovum Hospitals