Ringworm, also referred to as tinea or dermatophytosis is a fungal condition that is a skin condition.
Ringworm is a misnomer as the fungus, and not a worm is what causes the condition. However, the lesion resulting from the infection is similar to one of the worms in the form of a ring, which is why it earned its name.
Ringworm is usually called tinea corporis (ringworm of the body) or tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp). Tinea infections in other places like tinea cruris (ringworm of the groin).
Ringworm infections can affect animals and human beings. The initial signs of infection are the appearance of scaly, discolored patches on the affected area. The spots typically appear red on skin with lighter complexions or brown-gray if you have darker skin.
Ringworm can spread from an affected area to different parts of the human body, including the following:
Recognizing ringworm symptoms
The symptoms vary based on the location the infection takes place. If you have the onset of the skin infection, it is possible to experience these symptoms:
- Itchy or the appearance of scaly patches that appear either brown, red, or gray. They can also be the skin’s raised areas, known as plaques.
- A round, flat area of skin that is itchy
- patches that form the appearance of blisters or bumps
- patches that resemble rings with darker colors on the outside
- patches that have edges that are clearly defined and are raised
- Rings that overlap
- hair loss
Ringworms can appear differently depending on the area of your body it is affecting. Therefore, ringworm is referred to by different names based on where it is visible in the body.
“The term “ringworm” is most commonly used to describe tinea corporis or body ringworm. This condition is often seen as patches with a distinctive circular ring on the torso or the limbs.
Ringworm on the scalp or tinea capitis. It usually starts as a single, scaly area on the scalp. It then progresses to itchy, scaly patches on the scalp. It’s the most frequent with young children. The hair around the area affected could break off or fall off, and bald patches could form.
Ringworm on the beard, Also known as tinea barbae, affects the cheeks, chin, and the upper neck. It can cause hair loss. It may appear like an acne-like condition, Folliculitis, or another skin issue. In addition, people may experience swelling or fatigue in their lymph nodes.
Ringworm in the hand or tinea manuum is typically caused by touching an affected region, such as your groin or foot. The hand can appear like dry skin, with large cracks on hand.
If the infection continues to spread, it is possible to see ring-like spots on the palm of your hand.
Jockitch also referred to as tinea cruris, is a ringworm-related infection of the skin surrounding the groin, the inner buttocks, and thighs. It is most prevalent in males and teenage boys.
It usually manifests as an itchy brown, red, or gray rash in the area where your legs and body meet. The itching can worsen the following exercise and may not improve after applying anti-itch cream.
The athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is used for ringworm-related infection in the foot. It is most often seen in barefoot people who walk in public areas where the infection may be transmitted, such as showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools.
It begins as dry skin that is scaly between your toes that can extend to your sole and your heel. The symptoms could include:
- Itching, stinging, or burning sensation.
- a foul odor
Onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium, is a ringworm disease of the nail. It can affect toenails more so than fingernails as shoes often provide an arid, warm, humid environment which fungi love.
The nails affected by the disease may grow larger or more discolored. They might even begin to break or lift from the nail bed.
Ringworm is caused by ringworm.
More than 40 different species of fungi can cause the ringworm. However, it is usually associated with three types: Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton varieties.
You can find these fungi on your skin and other surfaces, including those with moisture. They could also persist for a long time in spores within the soil.
The fungus can infect people in four ways:
- Humans to humans. You can get the infection by contacting people with ringworm or sharing personal items like combs and towels. The infection is typically transmitted to children by sharing items with fungus.
- Animals to humans. Ringworm can occur when you touch an animal or other objects that an animal comes in contact with. Dogs and cats are the most common source, but other animals, including farm animals, may also spread the fungi.
- Human to object. You may get the virus if you contact an object or a surface affected, such as a phone or a shower floor in public. The fungi thrive in moist conditions.
- The soil can be a source of humans. Humans and animals may contract ringworm following contact with soil that has fungi.
Ringworm risk factors
It can affect anyone, but you’re more susceptible if you:
- are in a warm and humid or humid climate
- Take part in contact sports, like wrestling or football
- Use locker rooms or showers that are public. Rooms.
- be near animals
- wear tight footwear or clothing that can irritate your skin
- Have diabetes
- Are obese or overweight
- sweat excessively
- suffer from a weak immune system
The diagnosis of ringworm
The doctor will determine if you have the presence of ringworm by looking at your skin and may use a dark light to see the affected region. The kind of fungus can sometimes glow (glow) under dark light.
Your physician can confirm the diagnosis of ringworm through specific tests:
- Suppose you’re having a dermatology sample or fungal culture. In that case, Your doctor will take a small sample of your skin or a discharge from a blister and send it to a lab for a check to determine the presence or absence of fungal growth.
- If you’re undergoing the KOH examination, your physician will scrape a tiny portion of the affected skin on slides and put drops of potassium hydroxide (KOH) on it. The KOH can break down normal cells of the skin and makes fungal cells easier to view under microscopes.
Treatment for ringworm
Your doctor might suggest medication and lifestyle modifications for treating ringworm.
Your doctor might prescribe different medicines based on the degree of the ringworm infection.
Jock’s itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworms of the body may all be treated with topical medicines like an antifungal:
A few cases of severe illness can be treated with oral medicines.
The doctor might also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication and antifungal creams for your skin. These products could contain miconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, or other ingredients.
Find antifungal treatment on the internet.
As well as prescription or OTC medications, your physician might suggest that you take to manage your infection yourself:
- cleaning your clothes and bedding every day to help keep your home clean
- dry your skin completely after washing
- loose clothing in areas of concern
- taking care of all the affected areas being treated for tinea pedis may result in the recurrence and recurrence
Ringworm home remedies
Home remedies have been used by people to treat ringworm for decades before the invention of anti fungal treatments.
The support for these treatments is mostly based on anecdotes. There is no evidence to suggest their effectiveness as an alternative to OTC anti fungals.
The treatments are:
- Apple cider vinegar. Some people apply cotton balls soaked with apple cider vinegar on the skin’s affected areas every day for three days to combat ringworm.
- Coconut oil. People apply coconut oil on their skin to decrease the risk of Ringworm inflammation. If you’re interested in trying this treatment apply coconut oil just one to three times per day.
- Turmeric. You can mix turmeric, a popular spice, and water to make an anti fungal paste. Place the mixture directly on your skin and let it dry.
A warning about the use of home solutions
Home remedies should not be used as a substitute for established antifungal therapies. Instead, talk about any remedies you want to try and know treatments with your doctor.
Ringworm isn’t visible immediately when you first notice the fungal. It can take as long as two weeks before you begin becoming aware of symptoms. The stages that you could notice are:
- Stage 1. During this stage, you might notice an irritated, discolored skin area. Sometimes, it’s dry and scaly but not always like ringworm.
- Stage 2. During this stage, you’ll see that the lesion is beginning to grow in size. The area of the rash could appear like healthy skin, with a surrounding scaly area.
Because ringworm can be infectious, you should begin treatment as soon as you notice the first symptoms. If you don’t do this, it could spread and get worse.
Ringworm is it contagious?
Anyone can be infected by ringworm. But, it is quite frequent among children and those with pets. Both are susceptible to ringworm and later pass it on to human beings who contact them.
Be aware of signs among pets are:
- hairless skin patches which appear to be circular
- areas of crusty or scaly skin
- patches that might not be hairless but do have broken or brittle hairs
- white or opaque zones around the claws
If you think your pet is suffering from ringworm, take your pet to your vet for an exam.
You are more likely to develop dermatophytosis when exposed to damp and soft fungi from long-term exposure to water (macerated) or when you suffer from minor skin irritations or scratches.
A public or pool shower could expose you to infectious fungi.
You could get ringworm on your feet if you frequently walk around in sandals. If you frequently share things like hairbrushes and unwashed clothes also have a greater chance of getting the infection.