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Causes, symptoms and treatment of ringworm in humans

No one is immune to ringworm. The most common people to contract ringworm are children, veterinarians working with pets and farmers dealing with livestock. Many people believe ringworm is caused from worm infections, but it is really a fungus, which creates an infection that appears as a ring shape on the body. Typically, it is found in wet or damp places such as the feet, groin or even the scalp. Learn the symptoms and treatments for ringworm.

Facts about ringworm

There are several causes of ringworm. Ringworm is a micro-organism that is easily transmitted. This contagious organism turns into a parasite with contact from animals to humans or its transmitted from one person to another. In many cases, it is transmitted from pets such as cats or dogs, livestock or the soil.

Ringworm symptoms

Ringworm looks a lot like a rash on your skin. It appears as a swollen circular rash that is red in colour. The edges of the circle become inflamed and yet the skin tissues in the centre of the circle appear healthy. The skin may itch and become flaky.

Contact with ringworm organisms can even infect the fingernails. Symptoms of nail infections include nails that begin to crumble or look to be discoloured.

Preventing ringworm

It can be difficult to prevent contamination from ringworms. Teaching young children to look for symptoms of ringworm in animals or pets may work to prevent infections. Animals showing signs of infection usually have bald spots and should be avoided.

However, in most instances, ringworm is found to be contagious before any outward symptoms appear.

Keeping your hair and skin clean is important as well as keeping them dry. Do not share other people's clothing, brushes or towels, which could transmit ringworm from one person to another.

Ringworm treatments

You may require the attention of a physician if you have a severe infection of ringworm. Pharmacy medications may not be strong enough to kill ringworm infestations on the scalp or body. Severe infections may require prescriptions for oral medicines or topical creams.

Self-treating using anti-fungal creams and drying powders may be all that is required to cure this condition in four weeks’ time. It is also recommended to wash all bedding linen and clothes in extremely hot water when infection is present.

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