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Ring Worm Infection 101

Posted Nov 29 2010 3:58am

Ring worm is a prevalent fungal skin condition mostly affecting foot (athlete’s foot, tinea pedis), body (tinea corporis), private area or junction of torso & legs (jock itch, tinea cruris). Worm or parasitic forms are not responsible for ring worm arising. It is typified by globular lesion or ring like appearances.

Causes

The fungi that is causal to ring worm (dermatophyte) abounds in balmy, damp regions. These infinitesimal organisms forage off lifeless tissue of the mane, nail & skin.

Symptoms

Tinea is of varied forms and capable of affecting varied regions of the body – on the skin it mostly surfaces as rounded spot formations. Those people with disc-shaped rashes are most probably having tinea. But, it is vital to differentiate such a rash from several rather prevalent rash forms like nummular eczema among several others that might exhibit analogous symptoms like tinea, however aren’t fungal and hence necessitating diverse therapy.

Scalp Ringworm

Tinea capitis prevalently has been observed to affect those in late infancy or among adolescents. Scalp ringworm is capable of spreading like wild fire in school settings and mostly develops as spotty, scaly hairless patches on the scalp.

Foot Ringworm

Tinea pedis is a rather widespread skin condition that causes scaled & inflamed web areas of the toes, particularly in-between 4th & 5th toes. Itchiness, reddishness and hurtful sensations in the foot base could also be experienced.

Groin Ringworm

Tinea Cruris has a tendency of being red-brownish in appearance and extending from the creases of groin downwards to a single or both thighs. Groin ringworm might arise because of perspiration, warm & sultry climatic conditions, frictions due to donning tight-fitted clothing.

Beard Ringworm

Tinea Barbae surfaces on the stubble region of face, neck region causing swell-up, scabbing & noticeable crustiness, at times causal to hair breakage. Earlier when males visited barbers everyday for shaving, beard ringworm was dubbed ‘barber’s-itch’.

Facial Ringworm

Tinea Faciei develops in the facial area excluding the stubble region. Facial ringworm is atypically ring-like in appearance. Typically, it is causal to reddish, scaly spots having unclear borders.

Ringworm of the Hand

The palm & webs of the fingers are mostly the location for characteristic signs of Tinea Manus arising which makes such regions thicken (hyperkeratosis), mostly in just a single hand. This mostly develops alongside foot ringworm (tinea manuum).

Nail Ringworm

Tinea Unguium is a frequently arising fungus-caused infection in the nail region known as onychomycosis making them appear whitish, thick, non-transparent & frail. Synthetic nail usage augments the chances of developing nail ringworm since nail files with emery coating could be infection-carriers & water could accrue underneath a synthetic nail which creates a damp region for fungal development.

What raises chances of contracting Ringworm infection?
    It is a vastly communicable condition & transmitted in several ways like: One could contract it from infection-ridden individuals, animals, objects & also soil. Heat & dampness facilitate fungal development & proliferation thus making them often surface in body regions where perspiration is rife. Fungus even arises in skin creases like ones in groin & in-between toe areas.
Pet Animals – Perfect Carriers and Transmitters of Ringworm

Ring worm is the most apt exemplar of zoonosis (animal-to-human transmission). Cat species are amongst the ones who often develop ringworm and hence residents of those houses having these pets contract ringworm as a result. Other animal forms like dog, goat, cow, pig & horse could even transmit the fungi to human-beings. Individuals contract ringworm when they touch the infected animal or touch their beddings, items used to groom them, saddle, carpets among others.

Ringworm Diagnosis

At times, the identification is apparent by its placement & look. Physicians also do testing of skin scraped from the doubted area.

Ringworm Treatment

Anti-fungal cream brands that contain any of the following:

    Miconazole – Monistal Derm, Desenex. Terbinafine – Lamisil. Clotrimazole – Lotrimin, Cruex.
  • Ketoconazole – Nizoral.

For acute or infections that have developed resistance on the nail or scalp region, physicians might give prescription of orally taken medications like:

    Griseofulvin. Itraconazole – Sporanox. Fluconazole – Diflucan.
  • Terbinafine.
Prevention Tips

Ringworm are tricking in preventing, however several pointers mentioned herewith could allay risk:

    Avoid sharing clothes, gym or sport equipment, towel or sheet. Always wearing some footwear when in locker areas, locations around swimming pools or baths. Showering following some sports which entails skin-on-skin touch. Wearing loose-fitted clothes and changing socks & undergarments once daily in the least. Maintaining skin cleanliness & drying it out totally following a shower. In case one has foot ringworm then putting on socks prior to patties or underwear to avert its spread to the groin. Taking pets to a veterinarian in case they have spots of absent hair which are indicative of fungus-caused infection.
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