Informative guide on ringworm conditions, its treatment, symptoms and causes.
Do you suffer from Ringworm, your not alone. Large numbers of people worldwide suffer from this disturbing infection and are constantly searching for ringworm treatment solutions on a daily basis.
The purpose of this article is to sort through the bewildering amount of information out there and present it in a way that is easy and manageable to understand. We also aim to provide you with a complete and informative guide - to help you easily and quickly identify the different types of ringworm and the affects it has on your body.
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a common skin complaint among two thirds of the worlds population, especially among children. Although the name might be misleading early belief was that the infection may have something to do with the worm. This is far from the case, it's actually a fungus infection known as (dermatophytes) that effects various parts of the body. The ringworm or fungi is found in the outer layer of the skin on the body, or under the hair or nails. this fungi that causes ringworm thrives best in warm or moist areas of the body. Ringworm is more likely to occur if you sweat a lot, or have any minor injuries to your skin, scalp or nails.
How do we catch ringworm?
It can be caught from any domestic animal such as the dog or cat, and the majority of farm animals. It can be caught from the animal directly, or by coming into contact with anything the animal may have rubbed up against. We can even catch it from other affected humans by been in constant contact with them. Sharing the same hair brush, wearing the same cap and sharing the same clothes are all major contributors to spreading this infection.
The appearance and symptoms of ringworm vary according to the parts of the body that is effected. Recognising these symptoms in the early stages can enable you to take appropriate action to avert this unpleasant condition from spreading. Below we take a look at the different types of ringworm and what to look out for and its treatment.
Types of ringworm and how we can treat it
There are various types of ringworm that effects different parts of the body, we need to identify this in order to administer the proper course of treatment. This stubborn or unpleasant comdition should never cause you despair. There are numerous and wide-ranging treatments available, which are extremely effective. Treatment can range from antifungal creams, ointments and oral medication, at one end of the scale, through to complementary treatment and simple home remedies. The treatment however will depend upon the nature of the ringworm and the particular part of the body it effects.
Scalp ringworm picture
Scalp Ringworm (tinea capitis)
Scalp ringworm is a very common fungal infection among children world wide. It mostly effects children between 3 to 14 years of age, although it can occasionally appear in adults. The infection affects the scalp and hair deep into the roots and can occur in several different forms.
Most commonly symptoms to look for are:
- Dandruff-like white scales that appear on the scalp which usually results in flaking.
- Small swollen infected bumps, and loss of hair.
- It can also produce small, scaly, red to brown patches on the scalp.
Treatment for scalp ringworm
Because the scalp ringworm infection is deep down in the hair roots, a medication by mouth usually shows best results to cure it. The oral anti-fungal medication (griseofulvin) can be taken daily with fatty foods such as milk, yogurt or ice cream. However treating the condition in its mild form and early stages can be successfully accomplished with anti-fungal cream. A special shampoo can be used. Although adding about 10 drops of pure manuka oil to ordinary shampoo and massaging well into the wet hair shows best results. A popular home remedy known as sea salt is known to work wonders, when applied to the effected areas and left for about thirty minutes. The sea salt absorbs the moisture which in turn makes the effected patch dry.
Body ringworm picture
Body Ringworm (tinea corporis)
This skin infection is characterized by it's distinctive ring-like patch with a prominent edge. The most common areas of infection are the trunk. As this type of ringworm spreads, the centre of the patch often clears to leave normal skin. It occurs in all ages, but is seen more frequently in children. It is more common in warmer climates.
Symptoms to look out for may include:
- Red, circular ring with raised edges, which may sometimes have vesicles.
- The middle of the ring will become less red as it grows and spreads.
- Severe itching of the affected area
Treating body ringworm
Ringworm of the body is not as severe as other types of ringworm infections, and often respond well to "self-treatment" with anti-fungal drugs in the form of skin creams, lotions, or ointments. However, for a more serious infection, an anti-fungal drug in tablet form (usually griseofulvin) may be necessary. Treatment should last for at least six weeks to ensure complete eradication of the fungus.
Picture of athlete's foot
Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis)
This common condition occurs mostly in adolescents and adult males. It is less frequent in young children. The infection thrives in warm and moist conditions. To lower the risk from catching the infection it is advisable to wear footwear such as flip-flops in communal changing places such as swimming pools. Always dry the feet well after swimming or bathing. Avoid sharing towels, or wearing socks or shoes belonging to others.
Symptoms of athlete's foot may include:
- Sever itching and burning of the skin between the toes, especially the fourth and fifth toes.
- Scaling or peeling of the the skin, which may turn white and soggy.
- Itchy red rash on the soles of the feet, which can lead to the skin cracking or bleeding.
- Pus-filled blisters on the feet, resulting from a bacterial infection.
Athletes Foot treatment
Many anti-fungal creams are available for this type of infection, often combined with mild antiseptic and a mild steroid to reduce itching. Natural remedies like garlic juice and tea tree oil have been known to help. A natural supplement known as aceium has proving to be very effective at healing this condition. In resistant cases, it may be worth taking an anti-fungal by mouth, such as fluconazole.
Picture of nail ringworm
Nail Ringworm (tinea unguium) or Onychomycosis
An infection of the finger or toenail. With this type of infection, the nails thicken, the ends break in a ragged margin and the nail may detach itself slightly from the nail bed. This condition more often affects the toenails than the fingernails. This more often occurs in adults and adolescents rather than young children.
Symptoms of nail ringworm may include:
- Thickening of the ends of the nails.
- The nails become discoloured by turning white or yellow.
- The nails become brittle and the ends break in a ragged margin.
Treating nail ringworm
The nails are the most difficult of all the infections to treat, because they are slow growing. If only a few nails are affected, the most appropriate treatment is with an anti-fungal lacquer containing, tioconazole or amorolfine, which should be used for at least three months. There are oral anti-fungal medications such as terbinafine, also taken for at least three months and griseofulvin which should be taken for at least six months. Even with treatment recurrence is common and the nails may remain thickened, yellow and unsightly to look at.
Picture of jock itch
Jock Itch (tinea cruris) or groin ringworm
This type of infection produces a reddened, itchy area spreading from the genitals outwards over the inside of the thigh. This form of tinea is more common in males and occurs more often during warm weather conditions. It is very rare in females.
Symptoms of jock itch may include:
- Red, ring-like patches appearing in the groin area.
- Itching and pain in the groin area
- Does not usually involve the scrotum.
Having, peeling, or cracking skin.
Jock Itch Treatment
It's very important in keeping the area clean and dry. Wear loose clothing so the air can get into the affected area as much as possible.There are many anti-fungal creams and sprays that show good results in clearing this infection. Lamisil powder in spray form, is a very effective treatment in curing this type of infection. Aceium is also a very popular treatment for this condition. It comes combined with both capsule form, and a topical spray to relieve itch.
How safe is anti-fungal medication?
Creams and nail lacquers are very unlikely to cause any side effects in ringworm treatment apart from stinging caused by skin sensitivity. Anti-fungal tablets are effective but may have significant side effects, especially inflammation of the liver.
This is increasingly becoming a popular option in the treatment of skin problems. Humans have been using this type of treatment for medicinal purposes since the age of time Many of these therapies generally attempt to boost the body's defenses to fight off skin infections. Many of these therapies are very effective, but they are not always well regulated, unlike conventional medicines. However one such product that is manufactured under strict guidelines, and regulated by F.D.A standards is Aceium. This product is proving very powerful and effective at abolishing all types of skin fungus, and comes with a money back guarantee should it fail.
Always consult a registered practitioner or inform your doctor, before beginning any course of complementary therapy. Although these treatments are natural and quite safe, they can react or be dangerous if taken along with conventional medicines.
Islandgirl on November 25, 2017:
the tanning bed or exposing it to sun cleared it up for me
Edward Nina Michael on March 26, 2014:
I want cure I'm dying with this ringworm infection in my upper leg. its very paining and I have this infection from last 5 month its spread over my legs please give me a home treatment I used antifungal cream it doesn't work
Stace on April 20, 2013:
I'm a nurse, tea tree oil works really well for all types of fungal Infections!
planter on July 30, 2011:
to val and dani. u mean you have tried canestan made by bayer?
nandakumar on December 09, 2010:
is it possible for the hair lost on the scalp due to this disorder to re grow? or will it remain as a bald patch?
john louie morante on December 06, 2010:
katol gyud kaayo ang ring worm.... salamat ani nga site.... tnx.... for the creeps out there watch for the ringworms...
hansley basaha ni nga site...
Liz on September 10, 2010:
We have had ringworm as a family for over 3 months, been to the doctors had tons of tests finally had it gone, and now its back. We have shampoos, soaps, creams pills, nothing is working.
Dani on September 03, 2010:
I have been dealing with ringworm/jock itch as a female. It's horrible. I have had it for at least 3 months. I've tried many things. Yeast rescue seems to be helping, I just read that unsweetened probiotic rich yogurt could work. Rosemary oil could work. I tried tea tree and it didn't seem to work on me. I've also tried neem with no results despite it's antifungal properties.
Besides all that, it's extremely important to try to implement the candida diet. Look it up online. HTH
Val on August 28, 2010:
I caught ringworm 10 days ago. The anti-fungal creme, the anti-fungal spirit and Nizoral tablets do not help. I'm severely distressed. Despite all the precautions and strict guidelines, it does not show any signs of improvement. Please, help!
Alice on July 07, 2009:
I went to Dr. and got a steriod cream then read online about lotrimin ultra. and all the other products to get rid of it. I had a severe case of it. Let me tell you that in less than 24 hrs. I saw a definate change with lotrimin ultra. That is the way to go.
Chike on February 25, 2009:
Thanks a mill for this article
owais on November 16, 2008:
thanx ..gud knowledge about ringworms... can u please share wat home ramedies can cure body ringworms...
Juliet Christie Murray from Sandy Bay Jamaica on August 12, 2008:
This is a ver good and comprehensive article