Ringworm causes an itchy, circular and reddish rash. It is a rather misleading term for this disease as it is a result of a fungal infection and not a worm. The lesion caused by the allergy looks like a ring, hence the name. About 40 known species can cause ringworm infection. The infection can sprout on any part of the body such as arms, legs, feet, groin, inner thighs, scalp, beard and nails.
The symptoms usually appear between 4 to 14 days after the contact with the fungi. The symptoms can differ, based on the part of the body infected. These are some of the symptoms:
- Itchy skin
- red circular rash
- scaly cracked skin
- Hair loss (in case of scalp infection a bald spot can form)
It is caused by mould-like fungi that reside on the outer layer of skin. It is outspread by
- an infected individual or animal
- contaminated objects such as bedsheets, combs or towels
- infected soil although this is rare
The treatment depends on the severity of the infection and its location on the body. These can be treated with antifungal prescription medicine, while some forms are treated with non-prescription medication:
- Skin: It is treated using non-prescription antifungal creams, lotions, or powders applied to the skin for 2 to 4 weeks. Follow the directions on the package label. Make a doctor’s appointment if the infection persists or worsens.
- Scalp: It is treated with prescription antifungal medication orally for a period of 1 to 3 months. Although, Creams, lotions, or powders don’t work for ringworm on the scalp.
- Feet: An antifungal non-prescription cream will help you get rid of this and if it doesn’t help; go, see your dermatologist.
- Nails: You need prescription medicine to get rid of these. As nails take time to grow the healing process will be slower.