5 Ringworm Facts (And Myths)
Ringworm is a type of fungal infection caused by specific kinds of fungi that thrive on the dead tissues of your hair, skin, and nails. This is a contagious skin infection so you can get it anywhere in the form of red, itchy, and scaly patches or blisters. You can catch it from your pets, from another person, by touching objects or from the soil. There are several skin conditions that look like ringworm so you would have to visit a doctor if you want to be sure.
Meanwhile, let’s debunk these 5 common myths about ringworm:
Myth:Ringworm is caused by a worm
Fact:It is not true. This skin condition gets its name because of its appearance and not because it is caused by a worm breeding under the skin. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection caused by dermatophytes that cause red and crusty patches on the skin. The ring appears when the skin in the centre starts healing and the fungus starts spreading outwards.
Myth:Ringworm is only transferred through direct skin contact.
Fact:If this was true, then ringworm would be much easier to treat. These fungi infect pet hair and pets shed their hair daily, infecting the environment around them. Air vents also increase the risk of this fungal infection. Plus, since this condition is contagious, there is a 50% chance of acquiring it through contact with an infected person or animal.
Myth:A circular patch of hair loss on your pet indicates a ringworm infection
Fact:This is not always true. Ringworm is a common infection that can be misdiagnosed because a lot of things can cause itchiness in your pet. Allergies, bacterial infection, fleas, and mites can cause your pet to lose fur, leaving behind hairless patches. So, it is important to visit your veterinarian. Pets that are infected with ringworm may not exhibit any signs or symptoms of a fungal infection but still carry ringworm and also transmit the fungus to other people and animals.
Myth:Ringworm clears up on its own
Fact:This is also not true. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection, so you have to start the treatment only after proper diagnosis by a dermatologist. Not treating fungal infections on time can aggravate the condition to the extent that it starts affecting other parts of the body. Ringworm can also invite hair loss and become a permanent problem if not treated on time.
Myth:Ringworm does not relapse
Fact:It is not true. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection, and it is quite common so it can recur. Whether the ringworm has infected your skin, nails or scalp, there are high chances that this fungal infection can recur more than once in your lifetime.
Final Tips To Remember
The fungi that cause ringworm are all around you. However, there are certain measures that you can take to lower your risk of getting infection. To avoid ringworm, you must:
- Keep your skin clean and dry
- Change your underpants and socks at least once every day
- Not share your clothes and towels
- Keep your sports gear clean
- Wash your hands with soap in public places
- Wear your flip flops in public showers