Ringworm -funny name, isn’t it? Yes, they are ring-shaped but they are not caused by worms. It is unclear why this infection is called “ringworms” even if it is not caused by worms. It’s caused by fungi. Yes, the yeasts that are usually on your bread can infect your skin, too!
The fungi that are responsible for ringworm infection are dermatophytes. They are keratin-eating fungi that thrive on warm and moist environment. They infect our skin, hair, and nails because they contain keratin.
Ringworm is characterized by patches that have red and elevated edges. The center appears to be normal, shiny, or scaly. These patches deliver a very itchy sensation to the skin. Ringworm, if left untreated, can develop into a bigger patch, or can increase in number.
Ringworm spreads in dozens of ways. The fungi can be passed on through skin to skin contact of an infected individual. Ringworm also spreads through infected objects, which are called fomites. In addition, contaminated soil can transfer the fungi to human through contact. Even your pets can also spread the ringworm to you!
If you are wondering where else can these fungi be caught, I’ll give you some possibilities:
Communal baths, wet floors, and towels
You should be careful in using communal baths. Where there is water, there is a possibility that a population of fungi is present. In addition, communal baths are used by a number of people. You wouldn’t know if these people have the infection until you yourself have it.
Bathroom floors are also a suitable environment for ringworm. If the floor is often left wet, chances are, a group of yeast can proliferate and spread ringworm and other infection. So to prevent ringworm of the foot, always wear slippers whenever stepping on to your bathroom floor.
The use of towels too can be used to spread ringworm infection. So as much as possible, do not share towels to other people to prevent having ringworm of the body.
Salons, make-up brushes, nail equipments, and hair clips
There is also a chance that salons can spread ringworm infection. It is because people come and go to these establishments, and we do not know if they are infected or not.
Contaminated make-up brushes can also spread ringworm on the face. So you have to be careful in using brushes. In addition, make-up products are can also be a habitat for fungi. Check for mold on the make-up product you are using; also check for its expiration.
Another possible source of ringworm spread, on the nail, is the nail equipments used in nail care salons. Be sure that these equipments are disinfected first before they use it on you.
You can also get ringworm by using contaminated hair clips used in these salons.
Barber shops and shavers
It is possible to get ringworm from barber shops. Like salons, barber shops also use combs and scissors that may be contaminated by ringworm. It may spread from person to person if these equipments are not thoroughly cleaned.
You can get ringworm of the beard if you used a shaver that is contaminated with ringworm fungi. In addition, you can get blood-borne diseases from contaminated shavers. So you have to be sure that the shavers being used on you are disinfected.
So there, these are just some possible places and items where ringworm can spread. It is up to you to take preventive measures for ringworm. But always remember that your best protection from ringworm and other diseases are a good personal hygiene and proper handwashing.