The Facts About Ringworm
Ringworm is a skin illness that results from fungal infections. In the past, people believed that the infection was caused by a worm, and they called it “ringworm”. The name has remained until today. In medical terms, ringworm is known as tinea, which is a Spanish word that means “growing worm”. Typically, those who are infected will have round spots on the skin, but not all ringworms appear in the form of circles.
Ringworm occurs when the skin gets infected by a kind of fungi. These fungi will cause ringworm to spread on the uppermost layer of the skin as well as the hair, and they can be found in places where the level of moisture is high, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and areas of the body where there are skin folds. Ringworm can be spread through skin contact and the sharing of clothes and towels. Although it does not happen very often, a human being can also get ringworm by touching an infected cat or dog.
The main symptom of ringworm is an itchy rash that is usually shaped like a ring, but sometimes, it can be just a red patch of rash. Jock itch is a form of ringworm that occurs in the groin’s skin folds, and it can spread to the buttocks and inner thighs. When ringworm develops on the hand, it resembles athlete’s foot. The skin of the palm will become dry, thick, and scaly, and the skin on the sides of the fingers may have sores.
Ringworm can be easily treated with a variety of non-prescription creams that are available at the pharmacy. It usually takes a short time for the rash to clear, but the cream should be applied for the duration of time that is stated on the label, so that the infection will not recur. If the ringworm does not go away after the cream is applied, consult a doctor to get some prescription pills. Ringworm should be treated without delay, because it can cause blisters and infect the skin with bacteria over time.
Several measures can be taken to prevent ringworm, and one of them is to refrain from sharing towels, sheets, or clothes with other people. After taking part in sports activities that involve skin contact, take a good shower and dry the body completely. Try to wear loose cotton clothes, and change underwear and socks everyday. Those who have athlete’s foot should wear their socks first before they put on their underwear, as this will prevent the fungi from spreading to the groin. If a pet has bald patches on its body, it may be infected by fungi. Bring it to a vet to check for ringworm.
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