Ringworm is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body. Although its name implies that it’s caused by worms; it is not. This skin infection is caused by fungi which are commonly known as dermatophytes.
Ringworm is very contagious and very uncomfortable because of the itching that comes along with it. This infection can spread from one part of the body to another. It can also be spread from person to person by contact. Ringworm is also present in animals like the cats and dogs which we keep as pets. The fungi can be spread by infected animals to the people who live with them.
Apart from affecting the skin, ringworm can also affect the scalp, fingernails or the feet in which case it is referred to as athlete’s foot.
Ringworm can start as a single itchy pimple on the skin or scalp. Within a matter of days, it grows; forming a ring-shaped lesion on the skin. When it starts as an itchy rash or lesion, it continuously becomes more and more uncomfortable as it grows in a circle with a raised edge. As it grows, the skin in the center becomes clear while the exterior remains bumpy and rough. When it is starting, sometimes it is not easily identified as ringworm because its appearance is that of a pimple or rash. As it grows however, it becomes more evident because of its notorious ring shape and constant itch.
If ringworm forms on the scalp, it causes dry scaly spots on the head which are clearly visible. It also causes the hair to dry up and fall out leaving bald spots on the head. These flaky spots on the scalp are also very itchy.
When ringworm affects the toes; it starts out as an itch between the toes. As it progresses, the skin between the toes becomes rough and scaly and sometimes; even painful. Sometimes itchy blisters or peeling skin is present. This is the condition commonly referred to as Athletes foot.
Even though ringworm may start out as a very small bump, rash or blister, it can grow to be quite big and uncomfortable. Once it has been recognized, measures should be taken to clear the infection as quickly as possible. This way the fungus is kept from spreading to other parts of the body and to other people as well.
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