Ringworm is a term that is used to describe a broad range of fungal infections of the skin and there isn’t one specific area of the body that an infection is more likely to occur than the next.
Ringworm Signs & Symptoms
Most people learn they’re infected by ringworm after noticing the mentioned red, round itchy patch of skin on their body. It is the most common sign of ringworm, after all. This round patch of skin can be small, medium, or large in diameter, dependant upon the area of the skin that is infected. And you might find that the patch is present in more than one area of the skin. If you develop an infection and touch different areas of the skin, this is a realistic possibility. The commercial ringworm infection often times has raised edges and is itchy and very dry to the touch. For some people, the itching is the least of the worries because the skin fungus also causes them intense pain.
Aside from the obvious red, round patches on the skin, signs of a fungal skin infection include:
- Skin reddening
- Itching skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Blisters that ooze
If you suspect a ringworm infection, you shouldn’t second-guess yourself. There’s many ways to treat the condition, including natural and over-the-counter options. Browse the treatments, talk to a doctor, and take action immediately. This contagious condition will not clear up on its own and will only worsen the longer that it persists.
What Causes Ringworm?
Ringworm is caused when dermatophytes infect the skin. These fungi can be transferred from one person to another, from an animal, or even from household objects, including the floor. Sometimes these fungi are present inside the body hidden as spores. The condition is extremely contagious, with about half of those simply touching an infected area or person developing the condition themselves.
How to Prevent Ringworm
Prevention of ringworm ensures that you aren’t dealing with the frustrating condition anytime soon. There’s actually numerous steps that you can take to prevent ringworm, or at least considerably reduce the risk of developing the condition. It is imperative to remember these prevention tips in your everyday life, wherever you go. Ringworm is so contagious, you need only touch a person or object once to develop an infection. When you’re always weary of your surroundings, there’s less to worry about. Some of the best ways to prevent a ringworm infection:
- Do not touch a person known to be infected with a ringworm infection
- Wash your bedding and night clothing regularly. It is recommended these items are washed no less than once per week, though some people prefer more frequent washings
- Use a clean towel to thoroughly dry your body after a shower or a bath
- Do not share towels with other people
- Do not share any personal hygiene items with others, including hairbrushes
- Do not wear socks more than one day
- Thoroughly wash your feet, including between the toes
What is the Treatment for Ringworm?
Over-the-counter topical creams , shampoos, and tablets are available for ringworm treatment. It is important to identify a ringworm infection quickly and begin treating it as soon as possible. It is a myth that ringworm clears on its own. In fact, without proper treatment, the condition only worsens. The sooner treatment begins, the quicker the condition is gone from your life.
Many natural over the counter ringworm treatments are on the market. You can even make some of these products yourself at home if you choose. Many people prefer using natural treatments to cure this condition because they work faster, offer fewer side effects, and do not cause any distress to the skin. This is especially important for anyone with sensitive skin.
If the infection doesn’t respond to the over-the-counter treatments or if you prefer the comforts of a professional diagnosis, make an appointment with your physician. He can diagnose the condition and provide prescription strength treatments that remedy the problem quickly or make a referral to a dermatologist. If needed, the physician can also order lab testing of the infected skin or perform other tasks as necessary.
Additionally, use the information below to help treat a ringworm infection:
- Avoid wearing clothing that rubs the infected area
- Cover the ringworm with a bandage
- Bathe regularly
Ringworm is a fungal condition of the skin that you never want to see, but it is reassuring to know that it is easily treated in most cases. The key to eliminating the problem is acting quickly. Pay attention to your skin, maintain hygienic living, and act quickly if you suspect ringworm (or other skin conditions) is bothering you.