Ringworm Fungal Infection: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Ringworm, also known as tinea or dermatophytosis, is a fungal infection of the skin. The fungus lives on dead tissues of the skin, nails, and hair. The fungus causes athlete’s foot and jock itch too.

The infection affects people of all ages and is particularly common in children. The fungal infection is contagious and passed from one person to the other by contact. When you come in contact with infected skin areas or share personal items like comb, brush, towels and other things, you increase the risk of getting the fungal infection.

You can also become infected when you come in contact with pool surfaces and locker rooms. The fungus infection affects pets like dogs and cats too. The pets can then transmit the infection to you.

Causes

Fungi live on skin, nails and hair and they grow and thrive in heat and moisture. Epidermophyton, Microsporum and Trichophyton are the three types of fungi that can cause the infection.

Anyone can get the infection, but it is most common among children and people with pets. If you have minor skin abrasions or injuries, you increase the risk of getting infected.

Symptoms

  • Red, scaly and itchy patches on the skin.
  • Ring-shaped raised patch of skin.
  • Red skin patches with blisters.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of ringworm is obvious from its appearance. Doctors can take a skin sample for diagnosis. After the diagnosis is competed, treatment can be prescribed depending on the severity of the infection.

Medicated ointments and over the counter creams are often sufficient to treat the fungal infection. If the infection is severe, it can require a prescription.

In addition to prescription and over the counter medications, the doctor can also recommend home care. Good basic hygiene is effective in treating and preventing the infection. Keep the skin dry and clean and avoid sharing personal items. Preventive action can go a long way in preventing ringworm fungal infection.