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Ringworm In Humans

Hearing the name ringworm, you may have a false belief that it is a worm. But this is not so. Actually, this condition is a fungal infection and it is in no way related to worms. You may be wondering then why it is called a ring worm. It is called ringworm simply because it manifests itself as a circle or a ring on the skin of the patient.

Another condition which is closely related to ringworm is Jock Itch which causes infection in the groin area.

Tinea is the common name used to refer to infection by ringworm in humans. Keep in mind that depending upon the body part where tinea appears it has different names. For instance, if the ringworm appears on the scalp or head, it's known as tinea capitis.  If it is on the body, it’s called tinea corporis and in case it appears on the feet, it’s called tinea pedis. A more common name for Tinea pedis is athlete’s foot.

Even though anybody can be a victim of this infection, children are more prone to develop this condition. It appears as a red, silvery patch with scales which are ring shaped and quite itchy. The ringworm manifests itself as a scaly round ring shaped patch on the skin. The healing of these patches starts at the centre and once the centre gets healed it appears as normal skin, leaving a red ring in the outward border of the patch.

Also, these infections can cause baldness in the affected area if your scalp and head have ringworm infections.

Causes Of Infection by Ringworm In Humans

Usually, the fungal spores which are known to cause ringworm infection are found in different animals, in soil and in other people. When the skin gets cut due to some reason, these fungal spores enter the body of the victim and create infection.

Remember, the warm damp areas in the body are where this fungus like to live and multiply. So make sure not to sweat too much and provide a good ambience for the fungal spores.

Ringworm infections can infect you in many ways. As this is a highly contagious disease it can be passed on to you from other animals or people. If you come in contact with pets or farm animals which are infected with ringworm you can easily get infected. Sharing combs or dirty clothes can make this virus passed from different people. Also make sure to stay away from dirty surfaces in swimming pools.

How To Diagnose Ringworm?

Ringworm is pretty easy to diagnose as the round red scalar ring on the skin itself is more than enough to confirm the condition. Nevertheless, doctors often take a layer of the affected head or scalp ringworm and examine it through a microscope which gives a confirmed diagnosis.

How To Treat Ringworm?

Treatment of the ringworm you receive will depend on which area of the body, head or scalp, is affected by it.

If you were able to detect the skin ringworm condition early enough, you can use an over the counter anti fungal cream from to cure it. If you are affected with head or scalp ringworm, an oral anti fungal medication will be better.

Nevertheless, if these don’t help in curing the ringworm, make sure you consult a doctor. Another anti fungal medication with different contents prescribed by him might work in your case.

If you have a case of eczema infected with ringworm, a topical corticosteroid may also be prescribed by your doctor.

Some of the helpful lifestyles which can help to control the occurrence of this condition are described below.

  • Make sure that you keep the affected area always clean and dry
  • Never share towels with an infected person
  • Wash your bedding and night dress daily
  • Clean the affected area every day thoroughly but gently
  • Change your underwear and socks daily
  • Don’t scratch or touch the irritated area

Remember that the infection can easily transfer from one area to the other if you scratch the affected area and cause the skin there to rip.


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