Ringworm – Images, Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

We covers  pics of ringworm, images together with information in terms of symptoms , causes and treatment of ringworm in humans

What is ringworm ?

Ringworm is a form of fungal infection that affects the upper layer of the skin. Medically referred to as tinea, ringworm is responsible for the development of itchy ring-like patches on the skin. Usually, the fungus impinges on not only one region of the body, and so ringworm can be evident on different parts of the body such as the torso, scalp, groin area, feet, beard and even nail.

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Treating ringworm can be done at home with the use of non-prescription drugs and topical creams and ointments. However, if the skin is severely affected, this would require a more extensive treatment. This fungal infection shouldn’t be ignored as it can result to unpleasant complications that could have a huge impact on the physical, emotional and social well-being of the person.

Ringworm symptoms

Ring-like rashes on the skin which are itchy and swollen are the key features of this fungal infection. These rashes have been found to overlap one another. However, the ring-like patches are not evident on the face which makes it a bit more difficult to diagnose. The infection is recognizable by its ring-like pattern which may resemble a worm, but it should be noted that there is no actual worm involved in the infection. The condition is purely due to fungal infection.

The infection usually resolves in a couple of weeks with simple home care treatment. However, sufferers should consider having their symptoms checked by a doctor if the rashes come with some unpleasant symptoms like fever, draining of fluid from the site, swelling or undue redness.

What causes ringworm ?

Ringworms form when dermatophytes find their way to the skin and cause infection. Dermatophytes are groups of mold-like fungi that feed on cells found on the outer skin layer. The fungi could affect the skin in different body parts, thereby causing various forms of infection like:

  • Tinea barbae – affects the neck and bearded portion of the face
  • Tinea capitis – affects the scalp
  • Tinea corporis – affects the body
  • Tinea faciei – affects the face
  • Tinea pedis – affects the foot (athlete’s foot)
  • Tinea unguium – affects the nails
  • Tinea manus – affects the palms and fingers
  • Tinea cruris – affects the upper thighs, buttocks and genitals

Is ringworm contagious ?

The infection is highly contagious and can spread through direct skin contact with an infected individual, touching infected animals, using or touching ringworm-infected items like linens, beddings, towels, combs, brushes and clothes, as well as coming in contact with infected soil.

How many people suffer from Ringworm?

This fungal infection is relatively common across the globe, affecting around 20% of the overall population. Recent studies revealed that it is pretty common among children between 6 and 10 years old. High prevalence of the infection has also been noted in developed nations. It is impossible to get accurate data with regards to the incidence of tinea because many of those affected do not seek medical help and simply treat the condition through natural remedies. Furthermore, a fair number of people just ignore it.

The odds of contracting this infection is high among people who:

  • Sweat heavily
  • Share towels, clothing and personal things with others
  • Live in crowded and damp environments
  • Wear tight-fitting clothes
  • Have close association with infected animals or individuals
  • Engage in contact sports
  • Have compromised immunity, like HIV patients

How is Ringworm diagnosed?

Ringworm diagnosis often involves looking for the key features of the infection. The doctor will also have to rule out other skin disorders before confirming it as a fungal infection. He or she may run several tests such as KOH exam which involves observing some tissue samples under the microscope. In some cases, the doctor may also request for skin biopsy and skin culture.

The fungal infection usually resolves in 2 to 4 weeks with topical treatments. Topical treatment may not be enough, however, for those who have severe fungal infection.  In this case, prescription medications are required.

Treatment of ringworm

Tinea can be effectively treated at home by means of:

  • Keeping the infected skin dry and clean by washing it with clean water and soap.
  • Applying antifungal creams and ointments on the borders of the skin rash.
  • Daily washing of night clothes and beddings during the course of infection.
  • Avoiding tight-fitting clothes.

If improvements do not occur in 2 weeks, consultation with the doctor is necessary. He or she will prescribe appropriate medications based on his or her diagnosis. The doctor may recommend topical or oral medications to treat the infection. Antibiotics might also be needed to treat secondary bacterial infections. If the source of transmission is an infected pet, it should be treated as well.

A person can minimize his or her chances of contracting ringworm infection by keeping the hands clean through regular hand washing, avoiding touching infected pets and sharing personal items with others, and refraining from wearing constricted clothing.

Ringworm images

Here are ringworm photos, see how they affect the skin on humans, babies, scalp and facial area

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