Have you ever had a fungal infection? If you have, then you know they’re not exactly fun. But they are interesting, in a gross sort of way. Here’s a blog about ringworm and other fungal infections, complete with photos and everything!
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that causes a characteristic ring-shaped rash. The medical name for ringworm is tinea. Ringworm can affect any area of the skin, but it most commonly affects the scalp, face, trunk, nails, and feet.
Ringworm is relatively common and is not usually serious. It is contagious, which means it can be spread from person to person. However, it can usually be treated effectively with over-the-counter antifungal creams and lotions. In some cases, oral antifungal medication may be necessary.
What are the symptoms of ringworm?
The symptoms of ringworm can vary depending on the type of fungus causing the infection. The most common symptom is a rash that is red, itchy, and scaly. The rash may also have raised bumps that resemble blisters filled with fluid. Ringworm rashes can occur on any part of the body, but they are most commonly found on the scalp, face, chest, or back. In severe cases, ringworm can cause blisters and crusted patches on the skin.
What are the causes of ringworm?
There are many different types of fungi that can cause ringworm, but the most common is Trichophyton tonsurans, which infects humans and animals.this fungi thrives in warm, humid environments and is often spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels, clothing or locker room benches. It can also be spread by direct contact with an infected person or animal. Ringworm gets its name from the characteristic circular rash it produces on the skin, but the rash can be any shape. The edges of the rash are often raised and may have a scaly or flaky texture. The center of the rash is often clear or slightly red.
How is ringworm diagnosed?
To diagnose ringworm, your doctor will likely:
-Inspect your skin for characteristic rash
-Take skin scrapings or samples from the affected area to be examined under a microscope for the presence of fungus
-In some cases, perform a Wood’s lamp test. In this test, your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. Fungi that cause ringworm often fluoresce under ultraviolet light, making them easier to identify
How is ringworm treated?
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription treatments available for ringworm. Antifungal creams, lotions, or shampoos are usually the first line of defense against the infection. They can be purchased without a prescription at most drugstores.
If the infection does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, you may need to see a doctor for a prescription-strength antifungal medication. These medications are usually taken by mouth for two to four weeks. In some cases, they may be taken for longer periods of time.
If you have ringworm on your scalp, you may need to use a special shampoo to get rid of the infection. This type of shampoo contains an antifungal medication and is available with a prescription from your doctor.
Can ringworm be prevented?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent ringworm:
-Keep your skin clean and dry.
-Wash your hands after contact with an infected person or animal.
-Avoid sharing personal items like towels, brushes, and clothing with someone who has ringworm.
-Shower after participating in activities that involve close contact, such as wrestling.
-Wear shoes or sandals in locker rooms and public showers.
What are the complications of ringworm?
The most common complication of ringworm is a bacterial skin infection. This can happen when the spores of the fungus get into small cuts or scrapes on the skin. The infection can cause redness, swelling, and pus. In severe cases, it can lead to cellulitis, which is a serious bacterial skin infection that can spread to other parts of the body.
Other potential complications of ringworm include:
-Secondary bacterial infections
-Scratching can cause breaks in the skin that can lead to secondary bacterial infections
-Severe scratching can cause permanent scars
-Ringworm on the scalp can cause hair loss
When should I see a doctor for ringworm?
If you have ringworm on your body, you should see a doctor if the rash:
-covers a large area
-is accompanied by a fever
-does not respond to over-the-counter antifungal medications
If you have ringworm on your scalp, you should see a doctor if the rash:
-spreads to other areas of your body
-covers a large area of your scalp
-is accompanied by hair loss or pus drainage from the lesions
-causes intense itching or redness