Despite the name ringworm is not caused by worms. We now know ringworm as a fungus. The infectious disease is caused by a mold like fungi known as dermatophytes. Moist places are known to be a transmitting area as well as having direct contact with infected animals or humans by sharing personal items such as combs, clothing or by touching the infected area.
Ringworm can be caught by humans or animals such as dogs or sheep. It can spread from animal to humans, humans to humans, or humans to animals. Ringworm is not as big a problem as it used to be due to the advances in technology and medicine. However, outbreaks do occur and can be devastating. For instance, just recently, an animal shelter in Canada was struck with a bad case of ringworm and almost all the animals had to be put down so the disease would not spread.
The common symptoms of ringworm are itching, burning dryness, or circular flaky rashes on the skin. On animals the symptoms are a bit different which consists of hair loss in the affected area, itching scratchiness on a specific part of the body. More than often hair loss is in circular patches. These patches may also be in a irregular shape.
Ringworm may be misdiagnosed because of its symptoms being similar to numular eczema and pityiasis rosea. People can get ringworm at different times in their lives. For example, foot ringworm is not common in children and more common in adults. The most common type of ring worm in children is scalp ringworm that may come from the outbreaks at school or in child care centers. The problems with treating scalp ringworm are because of the ringworms resistance to treatment.
Anti fungal cream is more often the treatment for adults. The ringworm creams include terbinafine hydrochloride which disrupts the fungus’s ability to produce ergosterol. Which is the main component of fungi cell membranes. Medications target this part of the fungi and will eventually destroy it.
Coming in contact with someone who has ringworm can happen and you should properly clean yourself. Ringworm is contagious. Although, if you have already contracted ringworm, try not to scratch the infected area. Doing so may cause the ringworm to spread to other areas on the body. Over the counter products may not clear up your ringworm, therefore you should see your family doctor as soon as possible.