Ringworm (Tinea)
Definition Of Ringworm:
It is a common fungal infection caused by dermatophytes (microscopic organisms that live on the dead, outer layer of the skin). The fungi that cause the rash appear as a ring and a raised, scaly edge on the skin.

Certain types of fungi cause ringworm. These fungi grow in a warm, humid climate, so they are common in tropical regions and in hot, humid summers. The growth of this fungus increases in warm and damp locker rooms and indoor swimming pools. Infection with ringworm can occur when weather is cold because it is highly contagious. Infection is also caused by:
  • Touching an infected person.
  • Touching items that have been used by an infected person (such as: towels, clothes, bed linen, or chairs) that have been used by someone with ringworm.
  • Some pets that can get a yeast infection (such as dogs and cats), especially children.
  • Farm animals (livestock), when infected, touching the farm gate where infected animals pass may be sufficient for infection to occur.
  • Soil, in rare cases fungi can be found in the soil, and infection can occur upon contact with the soil.
Risk factors:
  • Living in a warm climate.
  • Having a person or pet in the house with a fungal infection.
  • Sharing clothes, bedding, or towels with someone who has a fungal infection.
  • Practicing types of sports that require physical contact, such as judo and karate.
  • Sweating while wearing tight or restrictive clothing.
  • Showering in public toilets, changing rooms, or public lockers (such as those in clubs and sports stadiums).
  • Weakening of the body's immune system due to a disease (e.g.: diabetes, HIV / AIDS or leukemia).
Because of its distinctive sign, it can be seen in the body, where it appears in most areas of the skin, in the form of ring spots, but it changes according to location of the injury, whether on feet, palms, nails, groin, beard area, or scalp.

Symptoms of ringworm on the skin:
  • Spots usually appear round and flat with raised, scaly borders.
  • Spots on light skin, tending to be red or pink.
  • Spots on darker skin are usually brown or gray.
  • Spots can grow slowly, increase in size, and appear on more areas of the body.
  • Spots can be very itchy
Symptoms of tinea pedis (called athlete's foot):
  • Feeling itching and burning in the soles of feet and between the toes.
  • Dry, flaky skin that usually begins between the toes and can spread to the bottom of the feet, the sides, or both.
  • Blisters, painful cracked, bleeding skin and thick patches of red, scaly skin
  • The skin between the toes turns white and becomes tender and smooth.
  • Presence of an unpleasant smell.
  • A rash on one or both hands, as touching an infected foot can spread the infection to the hands.
Symptoms of ringworm on hands:
  • Dry skin on the palms of the hands
  • Deep cracks in the palm of the hand
  • The infection may spread to the toenails
  • Ring-shaped spots on the back of the hand.
Nail ringworm symptoms:
  • It can affect one or more nails
  • It begins with a thickening of the tissue under the nail
  • Change in color and thickness of nails
  • Crumbled nails
  • Disappearance of the nails
  • Toenails are more susceptible to infection than fingernails
  • Ringworm often affects people who have had tinea pedis for a long time
Symptoms of tinea beard:
Most men get it when they come into contact with an infected animal, which may explain why farmers and ranchers get it more often. Signs and symptoms appear on the beard area of the face and neck:
  • Severe redness and swelling
  • Bumps filled with pus
  • Hair loss (hair often returns when ringworm is treated)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
Symptoms of scalp ringworm:
  • Hair loss in the affected area with thick, scaly patches appearing on the scalp.
  • Black dots in the bald area.
  • Ulcers with pus.
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Severe itching
When to see a doctor:
  • If a fever, increased pain, swelling, discharge or redness appears, which may indicate a secondary bacterial infection of the ringworm infection.
  • If the rash does not improve within a week of using an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal product, a prescription treatment may be needed.
Fungal infections rarely spread below the surface of the skin to cause serious illness, but people with weakened immune systems (e.g., people with diabetes or people with HIV/AIDS) may find it difficult to clear the infection.

It is important for a doctor to diagnose this condition in order to treat it correctly, as there are similarities between tinea corporis and other skin diseases (such as: eczema or psoriasis). Sometimes it is difficult to confirm the diagnosis; Because of the distinctive histopathological features of tinea corporis, and because the causative microorganism resides in the outer layers of the skin.

  • Antifungal medications where the medication is prescribed in different forms (such as: creams, ointments, and pills) and what you use depends on the area of the body that needs treatment.
  • Antifungal pills prescribed by the doctor in the event that the ringworm spreads to more than one place.
  • In the event that the infection causes abscesses, surgical intervention may be required to drain them out of the body.
  • Always keep the affected area clean and dry.
  • Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands frequently.
  • Maintaining the cleanliness of common areas and rooms, especially in schools, child care centers, gymnasiums and locker rooms,
  • When exercising, especially those that require physical contact, you must take a shower immediately after training or a match.
  • Keeping the sports uniform clean and wash it after completing the exercise, and keep the used sports shoes clean and wash them frequently.
  • Keeping the body cool and dry, and avoiding wearing thick clothes for long periods of time in warm, humid weather; To avoid excessive sweating.
  • Drying the body well after showering and before getting dressed. Because fungi multiply in dark, damp places.
  • Avoiding the infected animals, as infection often looks like a patch of skin with missing fur.
  • Neither share personal items such as clothes, towels, combs and hairbrushes, sports equipment or others, nor borrow them from others.
Tips for people with ringworm:
  • Avoid touching infected areas.
  • Treat the affected area and complete the course of treatment prescribed by the doctor; To ensure that ringworm does not reappear a few weeks after stopping treatment.
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry.
  • If you have athlete's foot (tinea pedis), you'll need to throw out all the shoes you've been wearing before starting treatment. If you can't bear to throw shoes, they should be disinfected before using them again.
  • Maintain hygiene by washing hands and body frequently, and wash separately the bedding and clothes of infected family members.
  • Avoid contact sports such as boxing.
  • When you own or raise pets at home or livestock, you should take care to check them periodically at the veterinarian for ringworm, especially in areas with hot or very humid climates.
  • In the event that pets have ringworm, they should be taken to the veterinarian for prompt treatment, and be sure to clean the places where the animal spends time, disinfect surfaces and pet beds, and wash hands immediately after dealing with a pet.
Last Update : 21 August 2023 11:56 AM
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