Ringworm looks like a skin rash at the beginning. It is infectious and can spread very easily. Ringworm is more common among school-age children.
Ringworm is a painful disease. It is more commonly found in young children than adults. You have to seek care at the early stages and never let the disease spread or get bigger and painful.
Many people have experienced this type of disease at one point of time or other in their lives. The disease is not complicated and does not require any long-term, expensive treatment. Ringworm is a type of fungal ailment caused by a fungal infection. It is smaller in size and very itchy.
Sometimes, it causes acute, constant pain. It usually causes an itchy feeling, which makes people uncomfortable all the time.
What Is Ringworm?
Though the name of the disease is ringworm and most of us think it is caused by a worm, it is actually due to a fungal infection. This infection is particularly round in shape and causes red, scaly skin, which is similar to a worm in shape. When it appears on the body, it looks more like a red-colored worm sitting over the skin and sucking the blood.
The human body is a place for many bacteria and fungi to live on. There are many bacteria and fungi present around the face, nose, mouth, and hands, and some of the bacteria protect our skin and help us, whereas other bacteria are infectious and can cause a variety of diseases and infections.
Sometimes, ringworm causes minor pain and does not stay long, but in others, it can cause serious sharp, constant pain and take several weeks to cure.
Ringworm is seen among children, where it creates serious health issues when it appears on their bodies. The scientific name for ringworm is tinea, but where it appears determines its full name:
- If ringworm appears on a child’s scalp, it is called tineacapitus.
- If ringworm appears on the body (e.g., the back, stomach, or thighs) it is called tineacorporis.
- If ringworm appears on the hands or feet, it is called tineapedis or manus.
- Dermatophytes is a type of skin fungi which causes the condition. The fungi live on top of the skin and do not enter deeper into the skin.
Ringworm Signs and Symptoms
Ringworm causes itchiness and a generally uncomfortable sensation on the child’s skin.
Red patches get raised, which can blister or ooze.
It appears mostly as a scaly, crusted rash and doesn’t have to be in round shape.
It may also have highly-pointed edges that are red or brown in color and cause acute pain or itching.
Ringworm is highly contagious. It can spread easily from one person to another or via other ways, such as through pets like cats and dogs. Even small children can contract the infection from pets, and vice-versa. Playing in soil for a long time can also cause ringworm.
There are five types of ringworm:
- Tineabarbea: This is found on the hairy bearded area of the face in adolescent and adult males. It is famously known as “barber’s itch.” The red-colored, scaly ringworm has borders that are not clearly defined.
- Tineacapitis: This is found on the scalp, usually in late childhood and teenagers. It can create bald spots on the head surrounded by hair.
- Tineacorporis: This appears as a rash on the skin that does not look like a ring. But it has an active reddened border that grows quickly.
- Tineacruris: This is found in the groin area and is usually reddish-brown. It is also known as “jock itch.” The main cause of this infection is tight clothes.
- Tineamanus or pedis: This is found on the hands or feet. It appears in the spaces between the fingers and toes. It can cause thickening, itchy, scaling, and red skin. It can also be on the heels or soles of the feet. The nails become thickened, discolored, fragile, and flaky.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Ringworm
If you find your child has ringworm on the body, immediately consult a doctor to start the necessary treatment. Treatment includes applying antifungal cream regularly over the ringworm. The doctor may give some tablets, too.
During treatment, keep the child, clothes, and bedcovers dry and clean. Clean the clothes and the bedcovers every day. Make sure the child is also clean and dry, and wash all clothes, bed sheets, and towels every day.
Check for the following symptoms:
- Pus or drainage
- Rash that is warm to the touch
- Red marks
- Worsening and spreading redness
How to Prevent Ringworm
The following instructions will help prevent diseases like ringworm:
- Encourage others to keep their clothes clean.
- Never share towels, hair brushes, or accessories with others.
- Encourage your child to wear sandals or slippers in the bathroom or around the pool.
- Wash clothes regularly and dry well.
- Take care of the skin and keep it dry.
- Check for any rashes or itchiness on the skin. Make sure it is not ringworm.
- Wash hair regularly using shampoo.
- Never wear tight clothing.
- Be careful while playing with pets and never touch any itchy or balding parts of their skin.
- Take care of your pet by giving them proper medicines and medical treatment.
Below are few of the natural remedies which can be used for treating ringworm infection:
Garlic: Garlic has a lot of goodness to offer us with its anti-fungal component. It is known to be effective against the patches created due to the ringworm infection. There is an anti-fungal component called ajoene which helps to work against the Tinea fungus that leads to the infection. The process of using garlic is to make a thin paste using about four to five garlic cloves and then apply it directly on the ringworm. To get more added benefits you can also add in olive oil and honey. Carry out this process for few days until it heals.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a commonly used herb for most of the infections. It is known to contain antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Thus using turmeric leads to overall health benefits. Make a fresh turmeric juice or you can make a paste of turmeric powder and apply it on the patch to kill the fungus causing the infection. Else you can also use turmeric oil which would work the same.
Coconut Oil: Another useful product for all our daily needs. Coconut oil has loads of benefits for our health. With the help of its soothing and healing properties, it helps to get rid of itching caused due to the infection. Coconut oil is most popular in treating the scalp ringworm hence one can use the coconut oil, warm it a bit and apply it on the infected scalp. Massage it gently and leave it overnight. For any other skin infections apply the oil directly on the infected area and see the magic. However this has to be used regularly for quick healing.