It is said that up to 20% of people will have ringworm infections at some stage of their life. However, children are more susceptible to ringworms but that does not mean adults cannot have ringworms too. Ringworm is not a worm. It is an infection that affects the skin caused by fungi that live in the dead tissues of the skin, nails, and hair. This infection can also affect your scalp. When it gets to your toes, it is what is referred to as athlete’s foot and when it gets to your groin, it is referred to as jock itch.
Ringworm infection on the skin usually appears to be itchy, red patches and scary. In most cases, it is an infection that cannot be easily hidden. Most people say it is embarrassing. Often, the appearance is most visible around the edges with normal skin in the middle. Once it has gained a foothold, the fungus spreads easily in rings hence the name. On the scalp, most people mistake it with dandruff. Ringworm infection is contagious and can easily spread from one person to the other especially when people share clothing, towels, brushes, headgears, and combs. Research also shows that it can even ringer on the floor even if it has nothing to do with worms despite its name.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ringworm Infections?
Ringworm symptoms depend on the location that has been affected. In most cases, these symptoms might be itchy skin, cracked, scaly or red, hair loss around the infected area and a ring-shaped rash. These symptoms come into contact with the fungi that cause ringworm between 4 to 14 days. Typically, ringworm starts as red or pink spots that can be slightly raised or flat on the skin. In most cases, these patches can be moist or dry. Over time depending on the period of infection, the rash increases in size and starts to clear at the center leaving a ring-like shape although sometimes it can be red and scary. If you scratch the rash, the skin gets broken and risks your skin to bacterial infections.
Infections, however, depends on the part of the body that is affected. In the beard, ringworm appears to be an itchy red spot which is visible on the cheeks and upper neck. To some people, the spots become crusty and the affected hair falls off. On the fingernails, the nails appear to be abnormal in shape and thick. This mainly occurs to people affected by athlete’s foot. On the feet, ringworm appears in swollen, itchy and red skin between the toes to some people, it can cause painful blisters.
Antifungal for ringworm
If you happen to have ringworm infections in any part of your body, OTC treatments are not enough. Ringworm infections are caused by fungal, therefore, ringworm can be easily treated by antifungal medications, which can be used typically or orally. They can be shampoos, lotions, creams or even tablets depending on the stage of the infection. Some of these antifungal treatments for ringworm include, Lotrimin cream, Mycelex, pedesil, Lamisil, phytozine, fungoid cream, cruex spray, and clotrimazole. With some of these antifungal treatments, you do not need to see a doctor unless the infection persists. However, for small children, it is advisable to see a doctor before starting any treatment. (more…)