Ringworm including treatment for ringworm

November 12, 2012

Ringworm including treatment for ringworm

Ringworm is a common skin infection that causes a scaly rash. Treatment for ringworm comes in the form of topical and oral antifungal medications.

Causes

Despite its name, ringworm actually has nothing to do with worms. It is in fact a common fungal infection of the skin and it considered common. It affects the surface of the skin and is caused by dermatophytes or skin fungi. There are a number of ways this skin fungi can be transferred onto a persons skin including from person to person, animal to person and soil to person. The fungus thrives in environments that are warm and moist, which is why this condition most commonly affects the skin in the groin and between toes. This is why is often thought that one of the most common places that ringworm is spread is in shared showers and locker rooms.

Signs and symptoms

There are a number of different types of ringworm, all of which have slightly different appearances and symptoms. For example:

  • Tinea Capitis is a form that tends to affect children and can cause bald spots and scaling on the scalp.

  • Tinea corporis appears in a ring shape and can affect the skin on any part of the body.

  • Tinea cruris affects the groin and sometimes also known as jock itch. It has a reddish brown appearance and can spread down one or both thighs.

  • Tinea Pedis is also known as athlete¬ís foot and tends to cause scaling and inflammation between the toes.

  • Tinea manus affects the hands and in particular the area of skin in between the fingers.

  • Tinea faciei is a form of ringworm that affects the face and usually looks red and scaly.

  • Tinea unguiium causes the fingernails and toe nails to become thick, crumbly and yellow in colour.

Treatment for ringworm

In most cases a doctor will be able to recognise and diagnose ringworm based on the appearance. If not a scraping of the skin can be taken for testing and analysis under a microscope. Once the type of ringworm has been diagnosed the doctor can recommend suitable treatment for ringworm. Antifungal medicines will be necessary to cure the condition and these can be used topically or orally. Topical treatment for ringworm will take around two weeks to clear up the infection when it occurs in the body or groin area and are often effective for athlete’s foot as well. Systemic treatment for ringworm such as oral medications is required for ringworm that affects the nails and scalp. Oral medications are usually prescribed as a 3-month course, which should be completed even if the symptoms have disappeared earlier.

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