What Is Ringworm (Dermatophytosis)?

Posted Friday, October 28, 2016

Did You Know? More than 3 million cases of Ringworm are diagnosed yearly

Ringworm is Common Among School-Age Kids  

Ringworm is a Highly Contagious, Fungal Infection of the Skin or Scalp

Contrary to its name, Ringworm is a fungal infection and is not caused by a worm. Ringworm, or Dermatophytosis, can be caused by three different types of fungi – tricophyton, microsporum and epidermophyton. When humans or animals come in contact with contaminated soil, they can become infected. It most commonly affects children and is spread by sharing items that may not be clean. 

How can Ringworm be prevented? What are the telltale signs? And how is it treated? The following article has been prepared to provide answers to these questions. 

01 | Symptoms

Ringworm is very common among children and people who own cats, and you are more likely to develop the condition when you are wet or if you have minor skin injuries or abrasions. Public showers, pools and walking barefoot outdoors may also increase your risk. Common symptoms include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Ring-shaped rash
  • Red, scaly, cracked skin
  • Hair loss

02 | Treatment

Treatment for Ringworm varies depending on its location and the severity of the infection.

  • Ringworm of the skin: Athlete’s foot and jock itch are usually treated with non-prescription antifungal creams containing clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine or ketoconazole.
  • Ringworm of the scalp: Tinea Capitis usually requires treatment with prescription antifungal medication taken by mouth for a period of 1-3 months.

03 | Home Care

There are steps you can take at home to help reduce symptoms as well. These steps are important, as frequent scratching can cause a staph or strep infection of the skin.

  • Avoid clothing that irritates the affected area
  • Wash bedding and clothing daily
  • Keep skin clean and dry

To completely resolve the infection, it is important to follow the treatment plan carefully. This will minimize discomfort and lead to quicker healing. To prevent Ringworm, encourage children to avoid sharing clothing, sports gear and shoes. Also, if your pet has patches of missing hair, this may be a sign of a fungal infection and a visit to the vet is in order. 

For more information on Ringworm, please visit: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-ringworm  

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