Ringworm

Below you will find more information about Ringworm from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Ringworm it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Ringworm and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Ringworm comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Ringworm, also called Tinea, pertains to a skin infection characterized by a reddish or brownish bumpy patch of skin that's usually lighter at the center, thus resembling a ring-like appearance. Ringworms can exist in any part of the body.

Diagnosis

Physicians can diagnose ringworm based on its appearance. To confirm the diagnosis, skin scrapings may be taken and examined microscopically for the presence of fungal components. Skin scrapings may also be cultured on specialized agar plates to identify organisms that cause ringworm.

Treatment

Ringworms can be treated with topical antifungal drugs containing miconazole, which are available without a prescription to clear up the infection. Other effective medications for ringworm treatment include Pyrithione zinc, Terbinafine, Griseofulvin, and Lufenuron.

Symptoms and Signs

The most distinctive symptom of ringworm is the appearance of itchy reddish raised skin patches that resemble rings. These patches or bumps have lighter centers with defined edges or hyperpigmentation around the circumference, thus giving the appearance of a ring. If ringworm infects the scalp or beard area, the affected patient may develop bald patches. The affected area, regardless of location, can become extremely itchy. In some cases, the infection can cause dermatophytids, which is defined as skin lesions occurring elsewhere in the body (remote from the actual infection itself). These lesions are fungus-free and usually disappear shortly after treatment of the actual infection. Dermatophytids are believed to be an allergic reaction to the fungus.

Causes

Contrary to its name, the cause of the infection is not actually a worm, but parasitic fungi called Dermatophytosis, which thrive best on moist, hot skin hidden from sunlight. Transmission of ringworm infections is primarily through skin to skin contact. In addition, contact with contaminated items (e.g. using the hairbrush of an infected individual) may also transmit the infection. Ringworms are contagious and can readily spread among humans. Affected individuals are contagious even before they become symptomatic.

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