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What is a Ringworm?

A ringworm, also called Tinea is a fungus infection of the scalp or skin. The fungal infection is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes live on the dead tissues on the skin and any structures that grow from the skin, such as hair or nails. Ringworm is not a "worm" infection.

A ringworm can affect skin, fingers, toe nails or foot.

Ringworm Infection does not create lasting immunity. A person can be repeatedly infected by the same type of fungus.

Ringworm Symptoms

Some of the symptoms are for a skin ringworm are: an itchy. burning, and flaky rash that is circular in shape. The skin may also be dry and scaly. Some symptoms of scalp ringworm are: flaky, circular patch of baldness. Ringworm of the scalp usually begins as a small pimple which becomes larger in size and leaves scaly patches of temporary baldness.

As the ringworm spreads, the center area clears and appears normal.

How are Ringworms Transmitted?

Ringworms can be transmitted from animals (dogs and cats) to humans and from humans to humans by direct contact with an infected person or animal. Ringworm can also be spread through contact with articles (such as combs or clothing) or surfaces which have been contaminated with the fungus.

How long do Ringworms Last?

If untreated, ringworm infections can linger on and become chronic.

How long will I be Infectious?

You will be infectious (able to transmit it to another person) as long as the ringworm fungus remains present in the skin lesion. The ringworm fungus is no longer present when the lesion starts to shrink.

How to Prevent developing a Ringworms?

It is difficult to take specific measures to prevent contact with the fungi that causes ringworms because the fungi are common. However, if you know someone has a ringworm, do not have physical contact with them or share their clothes.

How are Ringworms treated?

Your doctor may treat a ringworm by prescribing a fungicidal material to swallow as tablets or powders that can be applied directly to the affected areas.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you have redness and itching of the skin and you can see a patchy lesion, call your doctor. 

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