Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin. Although the name suggests otherwise there are no worms involved!
It is caused by a type of fungi called as Dermatophyte or Tenia. It can affect any part of body from the head to toe. Commonly it affects the under- arms, thighs, scalp and back.
It is a contagious infection, which means it can spread from one person to another by contact. Thus, it is important to maintain personal hygiene.
Like all fungi, Ringworm loves moist environment, therefore it is important to control skin moisture by wearing clothes which absorb sweat.
Another reason for ringworm infection is decreased immunity. People with auto immune diseases, HIV, high levels of stress, and those who frequently use Antibiotics are prone to the development of this condition.
Signs of ring worm infection:
- As the name suggests there is a characteristic ring shaped rash.
- Inflammation in the area of rash
- Intense Itching
- Burning sensation
- Psychological problems
Usually NO tests are required but sometimes your doctor may suggest following tests:
- Wood lamp examination
- Skin Scraping
- Blood Tests
Ringworm is usually easy to treat
- Antifungal Ointments
- Oral Antifungals like Fluconazole
- Salicylic Acid Paint
- Antibiotics like Doxycycline
- In severe cases intravenous medications may be given
Usually the treatment lasts for 1-2 Months.
Important Tips: It is important to wash ALL clothes in your house from towel to bed sheet in an antiseptic solution every week, and to drip dry them in shade.
- Never share clothes with strangers
- Avoid wearing synthetic clothes
- Eat a healthy diet
- Take foods rich in Vitamin C
- Never scratch the area of rash
Frequent ring worm infections may be sign of a sinister underlying condition which should not be ignored.