Ringworm is a skin infection which is caused by a fungus. It usually affects the skin, scalp, nail and groin. Ringworm is not caused by worms as some people might believe, it is just a name. Ringworm is also known as tinea in medical terms.

How is Ringworm contacted

Ringworm can be contacted in different ways which include the following:

  • By coming in contact with an infected person.
  • By using or sharing things that an infected person has used such as comb, cap, beddings and clothe.
  • It can also be contacted from handling animals such as cats and dogs that have been infected with ringworm.

Symptoms of Ringworm

Ringworms appears on the skin as a reddish inflamed round patch and on the scalp, it occurs as a round scaly white patch. Where ringworm appears on the scalp, it is usually accompanied by loss of hair. The infected area is itchy as well.

Treatment

  • The inflammation is normally treated with antifungal creams, antifungal tablets, steroids and shampoo.
  • Antifungal creams like clotrimazole, econazole and miconazole can be bought over the counter or prescribed by your doctor. Most antifungal creams are used for 4 weeks or until the ringworm disappears. Not all antifungal cream can be used by children, so if you are purchasing one, ask your pharmacist for the one that children can use in the case of treatment for a child.
  • In severe cases, your doctor will prescribe antifungal creams to be used together with a steroid cream.
  • Antifungal tablets like griseofulvin and itraconazole can also be prescribed for people affected by ringworm.
  • In the case of a scalp infection of ringworm, your doctor will recommend an antifungal shampoo for your use in addition to the tablets you are using. This is to reduce itching and to stop the ringworm from spreading further.

How to prevent the spread of Ringworm.

Do not share combs, hair brush, beddings and clothes with infected persons.Keep the infected area clean by washing it and keep it dry.


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