Ringworm, medically known as ‘tinea’, is a fungal infection that can infect skin, nails or scalp. This common infection affects people of all ages, but children are more susceptible to it. It is highly contagious and easily spread among people via close contact or sharing infected objects. Transmission of the infection is also possible through contact with animals, such as dogs and cats. Ringworm is caused by fungi called dermatophyte, which lives on keratin – a tissue found in skin, nails and hair. As these fungi can survive for months on body, in soil or any object, you can easily catch the infection. The infection can be spread in following ways:
- Direct contact with an infected person
- Contact with infected animal like cat and dog
- Contact with traces of the fungus in soil
- Contact with object that has been contaminated like towel, combs and beddings
While anyone can catch the infection, very old or very young are at the higher risk. People with weak immunity or those who are taking medicines that suppress immunity are also more likely to develop the infection. Fungal infection mostly develops on moist skin, this is a reason people, who sweat a lot, are also vulnerable to the infection.
Diagnosis and treatment of ringworm
Your GP will be able to diagnose the infection simply by looking at your symptoms. In case he or she isn’t sure, a sample of the affected area can be taken for analysis in a laboratory. Treatment depends on the body part that has been affected.
1. Topical medication
Over-the-counter antifungal creams, gel, spray or nail lacquer can be used treat ringworm on the body. You can directly apply these creams on the affected area twice a day to reduce the symptoms. Most of medications take around two weeks to heal the infection. Natural topical solutions are also available for the treatment of ringworm. These treatments contain natural ingredients that can eliminate and combat ringworm. You can check out various natural ringworm treatment products at ShytoBuy.
In case of scalp infection, antifungal shampoos can be used to prevent infection from spreading. Antifungal shampoos are available over-the-counter and can be used twice a week. It must be noted that shampoos aren’t treatment for this type of ringworm.
2. Oral medicine
If the infection is widespread, you might need to take antifungal medicines orally for quick relief. Oral medications are mostly recommended in case of scalp infection as creams can't kill the fungus in the hair shaft. Terbinafine, itraconazole and griseofulvin are some medicines that your doctor can prescribe you for scalp ringworm. Griseofulvin isn’t recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and Terbinafine is not suitable for people with a history of liver disease or lupus.
While you are taking treatment for ringworm infectiom, you must ensure that you keep the affected areas dry. Don't scratch the rash as it can spread the infection. Avoid sharing items such as towels, combs, hats or hairbrushes.