Understanding Ringworm causes on the skin
Contrary to the belief by most people, ringworm is not caused by worms. It is a skin infection caused by fungi that can live on the dead tissues of the skin, the nails, and even hair. Ringworm is very contagious and can spread from one part of the body to another and also from one person to another upon contact with the affected area.
The ringworm infection can affect both human and animals and start as a small patch on the surface of the affected area. Fungi are always present everywhere in the environment and usually thrive well on a moist, and warm areas.
What are the Ringworm causes?
You can easily get ringworm of the skin by:
- Sharing contaminated towels.
- Sharing contaminated clothing.
- Sharing sports equipment which is contaminated.
- Direct contact with an infected person.
Ringworm of the skin is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum which spreads from one person to another. It can also be transferred from a pet to human being by fungus Microsporum Canis which however not very common.
There are however a good number of myths and misconceptions associated with ringworm.
How do you know that you have ringworm
Sometimes it is important to visit a doctor just to be sure that the skin infection you have is actually ringworm. Some of the symptoms and signs may resemble other skin infections. The doctor will probably get some sample from the patchy surface of the affected area and examine using a microscope to be sure.
Some of the common misconception include:
1. Ringworm caused by worms:
Contrary to some people's belief, ringworm is not caused by any worms. It is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes.
2. Only children get ringworm:
Ringworm affects people of all ages. Children are however likely to get a particular type.
3. Ringworm is not contagious:
Ringworm is a very contagious disease and can easily transfer from one person to another. It is more contagious in people who live as a community and share items. This can be schools, sports teams etc.
4. Ringworms treated by antibiotics:
Antibiotics don't treat ringworm as bacteria do not cause it. Ringworm is treated with antifungal medicine that is rubbed on the skin on taken through the mouth. The medicine must be used for several days to get rid of the infection completely.
Factor that increase the risk of Ringworm infection
Ringworm causes are commonly known however, there are factors that increase a person chances of being infected by ringworm. Some of these factors are:
- If you are susceptible to fungal infection or you have been infected before.
- If you come into contact with an infected by or a carrier.
- Having an impaired immune system which can be due to disease infection such as cancer, HIV, diabetes etc.
- Living in a warm, damp climate. Fungi thrive well in such kind of environment
- If you wear tight clothing.
- Letting your clothes stay damp for a long time on your body mostly after exercise.
- If you are a wrestler as you will constantly get into contact with others.
Ringworm can be treated at home in most cases by use of antifungal cream or ointment. It is important to wash the affected surface well before applying the antifungal cream. Home treatment is normally very effective when the ringworm infection is at its early stages. On the infections which are in their late stages, it is advisable to get a prescription from a qualified physician.
The methods of preventions can only be followed if a person understands well the ringworm causes. Fungi that cause ringworm are everywhere in the environment. A person can, however, reduce the chances of infection by:
- Keeping the skin clean and dry.
- Changing the inner clothing at least daily.
- It is important not to share clothes or towels.
- Wash hand well after playing with pets.
It is important to visit your doctor if you notice a rash that doesn't go away after two weeks of notice.
In conclusion, ringworm can easily be prevented if proper care is taken to stop it from spreading. It is important to make sure that you don't share any clothes and other property that can make it spread faster. Keeping the pets well washed and dry will also play a major role in making sure that they don't spread the infection to any human being.