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Ringworm? It Makes Me Itch!

Contrary to the beliefs of other people, ringworm is not caused by worms. It is an infection caused by different types of fungi, depending on the infected body part. Generally, fungi that cause the ringworm itch tend to be found on moist areas of the skin. This is because fungi live in warm and moist environments.

The classic signs of ringworm are rashes or lesions accompanied by scaling. The infected area is also itchy. The rashes have red edges, which are usually elevated. Sometimes, the edges form a crusty surface. The center of the rash looks like a normal skin which can be sometimes scaly or shiny. With these characteristics, the rashes look like a ring on your skin. Thus, forms the name ringworm.

The ringworm infection can spread all over your body.

It can make your head itch. Ringworm of the scalp or tinea capitis infects the head area. It can spread out up to the back of your neck that causes swelling of your surrounding lymph nodes. Tinea capitis can be seen as patches on the head. This is really itchy, and it causes hair loss of the affected area. If left untreated, permanent scarring of the scalp can happen -permanent hair loss on the area too. This is commonly seen in children. In addition, ringworm can also infect your face (tinea faciei) and beard (tinea barbae).

It can make your body itch. Ringworm of the body or tinea corporis is characterized by the classic signs of ringworm. It is usually seen on the areas of abdomen, chest, shoulder, and back. This type of ringworm can rapidly increase in size if left untreated. In addition, your jock itch is also a type of ringworm. Its medical name is tinea cruris. It grows on the area of the groin which can spread up to the thighs. The color of the rashes in this area is reddish-brownish. It is scaly and shiny. You can have intense itch because the groin area is warm and moist.

It can make your hands and feet itch. Ringworm of hands (tinea manuum) and feet (tinea pedis) manifests the same characteristics. The infection is located on the areas between fingers and toes. These are scaly and itchy rashes. Sometimes, the infection can spread on the soles and make them thicker. Ringworm of feet is commonly known as Athlete’s foot. Additionally, your nails can be infected too. It presents a different set of symptoms that include yellowing and thickening of the nails. The infection can be itchy too. It is called tinea unguium.

The treatment for milder form of ringworm is usually anti-fungal cream. Some common medications that are used topically for ringworm are ketoconazole, miconazole, and cotrimazole. For more severe ringworm infection, oral antibiotics and antifungal medications are required. Selenium sulfide is also used for tinea capitis. Another medication used to relieve ringworm itch is tolnaftate. This cools down the ringworm and also prevents it from spreading.

These hassles can be avoided if you take measures to prevent contacting ringworm. As much as possible, avoid places that are hot. This may cause you to sweat more which make your body the perfect habitat of fungi. You also have to temporarily stay away from people infected with ringworm. But the most important prevention you can do is to have a good personal hygiene. Taking a bath everyday can wash off all the fungi and bacteria on your skin. Handwashing will also prevent you from getting ringworm. These measures, even though they are simple, will surely take you away from ringworm.

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