All about the different types of ringworm and the symptoms present
Ringworm is a shallow fungal infection of the skin, of which there are a number of different types. It affects the skin, hair or nails and is more often found in moist areas – between the toes and the groin area. Although ringworm can be caught from exposure to infected animals, the infection is more often passed from one person to another. Worms have absolutely nothing to do with this condition. The term ringworm is derived from the characteristic ring like shape that appears on the skin. Symptoms of ringworm can generally be recognized by its pattern of development.
When ringworm affects the scalp it can appear as one or more bald patches. These patches are round or oval with defined edges. The ring grows from the outside with the centre healing first. The infected area is scaly and itchy and the hairs break off at the roots. In severe cases the skin may become crusted.
Symptoms of ringworm on the body begin as small, round, red spots which spread in ever-enlarging circles while healing in the centre. The edge of the circles is the active growing part of the fungus, and the skin is usually raised into small bumps. The circular borders can become scaly at times. In severe cases the infections may be so close to one another it can be difficult to recognize them as individual rings.
This is the most common of the fungal infections and when it involves toenails, it can be difficult to treat. The symptoms after exposure to the infection, usually present redness and scaling between the toes. Severe itching and the skin between the toes usually crack and small blisters may appear. This type of fungus thrives best in moist and sweaty areas-hence feet stuffed into sweaty shoes. Keeping the feet well washed and allowing air to circulate between the toes helps to discourage the infection. But on the other hand walking barefoot in public places encourages the spread of the infection.
Nail ringworm can be the most stubborn to treat, because they are slow growing. The infection is usually self-inflected, and is not contagious. The toenails are more often affected than the fingernails, and are often accompanied by scaling of the soles or palms. The nails become thick and turn white or yellow. The nails may loosen slightly, and break off at the ends.
Ringworm of the groin or more commonly known as jock itch is a fungal infection of the genital area. It’s an itchy rash that spreads from the genitals out over the inside of the thigh. It usually doesn’t spread beyond the groin area, and is more common in males. It likes moisture and is aggravated by friction, so the preventive measures for such a problem are obvious.
By identifying the symptoms of ringworm in its early stages, it is fairly easy to treat. Ignoring these symptoms will only leave it harder to treat, There are now many anti-fungal preparations readily available for the treatment of ringworm. These medications come in the form of creams, ointments and natural cures, and are available without a prescription. However for widespread infections or severe cases of nail ringworm, you may need to take an antifungal drug in tablet form, which can be prescribed by your doctor.