Ringworm: What Is It And How Do You Treat It?
Research has shown that anyone can be affected by a fungal infection. The fungal infection we will discuss in this article is called Ringworm. Ringworm can appear anywhere on your body but commonly on your feet, scalp, and groin area. The fungi usually invade from outside the body. At times, fungi in your body can multiply and become out of control. The abnormal multiplication will have adverse effects on your body. Ringworm stands out as one of the most common forms of fungal infection.
What Is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection common to the skin. The name ringworm comes from its nature of causing a circular-shaped rash. This name can be a little misleading because Even though this condition is called "ringworm," no worms are involved, so don't get stressed out or scared if you find out you have this condition. The rash is usually itchy and red. Fungi on the skin and household items like bedding, clothing, and towels cause the disease. The fungi can also live on surfaces.
It is worth knowing that ringworm has other names that vary depending on where it is found. For example, tinea corporis is ringworm affecting the body trunk, and tinea pedis or athlete's foot is ringworm affecting the feet. More important to note is that ringworm spreads in many different ways. The most common form of its spread is through skin-to-skin contact.
As an individual, you may wonder how you can know that you have a ringworm infection. There are many symptoms accompanying the condition. Usually, there is a scaly, circular-shaped area on the trunk, legs, arms, or even buttocks. The affected area may also be itchy, slightly raised with an expanding ring. The rings also may overlap.
Treatment Of Ringworm
The infection's treatment depends on the disease's location and severity. In many instances, you will be prescribed over-the-the-counter medications are prescribed. For example, over-the-counter medicines or powders may be very effective if ringworm affects the skin.
However, deciding the best way to go remains a puzzle for many individuals. The treatment becomes confusing to them as they might wonder what medication can be the best. This article gives some of the best treatment options that are available.
Use Of Topical Anti-fungals
History has shown that many ringworm cases can be treated at home without staying in the hospital. Proven topical anti-fungal medications include clotrimazole, miconazole, and terbinafine. These drugs are anti-fungal and therefore enhance healing.
After cleaning, these drugs are applied as a thin layer over the rash. The medication is usually used 2 to 3 times daily or according to the prescription instructions. Some of the topical medications that are online are anti-fungal lotion, anti-fungal powder, and anti-fungal cream. You can order and use them at home if you prefer home treatment instead of a health facility.
Aerate The Affected Area
Many people believe that covering the affected area can promote the healing process. The belief is due to the logic that covering the area prevents other microorganisms from invading the place and that it also prevents the infection from spreading. However, this is not the case when it comes to ringworm infection. Covering the rash retains moisture there, negatively affecting the healing process.
Alternatively, you are supposed to wear comfortable clothes that allow aeration of the affected area. Aeration speeds up the rate at which the rash heals and decreases the probability of spreading it to other individuals. Comfortable clothes can include; loose-fitting pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Wash Your Bedding Regularly
Regardless of how simple the infection may seem, it would help if you always remember that ringworm is very contagious. A daily washing routine of your sheets is highly recommended to help promote healing. Washing helps to speed up the healing process.
The reasoning is that the fungal infection can get into the pores of your comforter and sheets. Therefore, sleeping in the same unwashed sheets may spread or increase contamination. There will be more risks of the infection spreading to other parts of the body and even slowing the healing of other rashes. Also, contaminated bedding can lead to the cross-transfer of the disease to other people if you share the bedding.
In addition, use detergents and hot water when washing these bedding and other infected clothes. Hot water can kill the infection. Also, adding bleach is an extra precaution when washing along with a laundry detergent. It is worth knowing that the bleach can be found in a grocery store and that it kills spores when you follow the directions given on the package.
Change Of Wet Socks And Underwear
When ringworm affects the groin or feet, there should be an extra effort to keep these areas dry. Also, if there is a tendency for excess sweating during the day, using an anti-fungal soap to bathe is recommended. After the bath, apply your anti-fungal cream, oil, or powder and wear something dry to avoid retaining moisture in the affected area. To ensure dryness and promote healing, you should regularly change your underwear and socks.
Keep Your Nails Trimmed And Clean
Keep your nails trimmed and clean. Fungal infections are more likely to occur under long or dirty nails. Therefore, regularly trimming your nails and keeping them clean can help reduce your risk of developing ringworm.
Use Of Anti-fungal Shampoo
At times, ringworm may arise on the scalp and cause severe itching, boils, hair loss patches, and even severe dandruff. To avoid these symptoms, you can apply an over-the-counter anti-fungal shampoo.
These shampoos can kill the fungus and bacteria on the scalp and inhibit inflammation. Even when choosing these shampoos, you should remember to look for ones having active anti-fungal properties. Active anti-fungal ingredients include; selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, and pyrithione zinc.
Use Of Prescription Anti-fungal
Medications such as cream, anti-fungal powder, and shampoos are commonly prescribed. Make sure that you continue with the drugs until the rash completely disappears. Continuity with the medication is essential as the infection tends to return if you stop the medicine too soon. Also, remember that the rash should go away two weeks after the drug prescription.
If the infection persists, it may be a good idea to visit a dermatologist for advanced care.
Natural Anti-Fungal Treatment
Many all-natural treatments can be found online if you prefer a natural anti-fungal treatment instead of prescription or over-the-counter treatments. These treatments can be as effective as over-the-counter creams, lotions, and shampoos. Many prefer these natural treatments because they feel uneasy about introducing certain chemicals onto their skin, which can sometimes be found in over-the-counter treatments.
Ignoring ringworm is what many people do. However, ignoring this condition can cause more severe issues. Starting treatment as soon as possible is highly recommended if you find out you have ringworm. Keeping the infected area aerated, keeping your nails trimmed and clean, regularly washing your clothing and bedding, and keeping the infected area dry will help promote healing. Taking these steps and using an anti-fungal treatment will fully help one recover from ringworm. We hope you found these suggestions helpful.
Yee, G., & Al, A. M. (2022, April 30). Tinea Corporis. Nih.gov; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544360/
Leung, A. K., Lam, J. M., Leong, K. F., & Hon, K. L. (2020). Tinea corporis: an updated review. Drugs in Context, 9, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.2020-5-6