Ringworm is also termed as “Tinea”. It appears on your skin as a round or ring like shape. This disease is not due to worms, it is due to fungus called “dermatophytes”.
Dermatophyte, a microscopic organism live on the dead outer layer of skin and causes infection.
This infection leads to form a circular white patch on your skin and it causes itchy skin with a raised red margin.
Any one at any time can get ringworm. This is most common in your children and pets such as dogs or cats.
This contagious fungal infection can affect the skin on anywhere of your body such as scalp, feet, nails and other parts. Don’t share towels with anyone and also avoid touching the area where it is affected.
Ringworm can be called with several different names. For example, the disease on the scalp can be called as tinea capitis, on the feet it is called as tinea pedis, and on the body it is termed as tinea corporis.
Scalp ringworm or tinea capitis: It is due to a organism called dermatophytes. It looks like a kind of crusty little bump. There is also a chance to occur baldness at the place of ringworm. 3-8 percent of population in US has this disease. This is completely different from the ringworm on your body.
In order to treat this disease, you need to visit your doctor. Usually your doctor can suggest shampooing your hair which contain selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione. You can find it at any stores. In severe cases, your doctor can suggest oral steroid to cure scalp ringworm.
Feet ringworm or tinea padis: This type of ringworm is commonly referred to as athlete’s foot. It causes cracking of the skin between your toes. It is very painful and also itchy.
Ringworm on body or tinea corporis: This appears as round in shape and red in color on your skin. At one place, there is a chance to appear more than one patch and it can also have scales. The symptoms can cause itchiness.
In order to treat body ringworm you can use over-the-counter cream which contains miconazole or clotrimazole. In severe cases, your doctor can prescribe corticosteroids to reduce itchiness.
There is one more type called as nail ringworm. This condition causes the nails to become thick, discolored and brittle. The most common area for ringworm on your body is the groin. It takes 4-10 days to appear after the contact with fungus. After the appearance, it usually lasts for 10-14 days.
Who can get ringworm? Usually ringworm appears in children of age between 4-14 years. Diabetics and cancer patients are more likely to get ringworm than any other group of people.
Treating ringworm with over-the-counter medications:
You can find various over-the-counter treatments for ringworm. Some of them are:
- Selsun blue, selsun gold and head & shoulders shampoos
- Hydrocortisone cream
These treatments work well in reducing the fungus that causes ringworm. If you properly treat your condition, it goes away within 7 to 10 days.