Ringworm is normally mistaken as a worm due to its name; however it is not a worm. Ringworm is a skin infection caused by fungus and has nothing to do with the worm. It was named so in the early days when the cause of this infection was falsely perceived to be a worm.
Medically the infection is known as tinea and it is classified further on the basis of site of infection in the body. Such as tinea corporis is the term used for fungal infection of body. Tinea capitis is the term for the ringworm infection of the scalp and similarly the tinea pedis is the fungal infection of feet.
Signs and Symptoms
Ringworm causes a crusted rash, which may be scaly and appear as red patches on the skin which are round in shape. Also ringworm causes itching, hair loss on the scalp, blister-like lesions and scaling. For other symptoms visit Ringworm Symptoms and Indications.
Diagnosis is made by the physical examination of the skin. But the diagnosis with only a physical examination is never a perfect diagnosis. To make a flawless and decisive diagnosis doctor must examine the scrapings of skin under the microscope. The culture tests of the skin scrapings will help the doctors reach a final diagnosis. A successful treatment cannot be expected without a successful diagnosis.
The transmission of the fungus can occur in the warm and moist areas which provide favorable conditions for the growth of fungi. These places include locker rooms and communal showers that provide excellent environment for the fungus growth. The greatest risk however is to come in direct contact with the infected person e.g. in a swimming pool or a handshake. Infected surfaces can also be the cause of fungus transmission.
Antifungal treatments are highly effective in the treatment of this infection and the medication can be applied both topically as well as orally. It cannot be cured with the help of home remedies which only makes it worse. To cure the infection, antifungal agents are necessary.
For the topical treatment of the infection antifungal creams are applied on the infected sites on the body which cures the infection in about two weeks. Some of these anti fungal agents include clotimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole and terbinafine. These drugs are formulated in the cream formulation for topical application.
For some fungal infections such as nail fungus or fungus of scalp, the topical treatment doesn’t work efficiently. The reason is the poor penetration of the antifungal agent when they are applied topically. To treat these infections oral medications are employed. Itraconazole, fluconazole, and griseofulvin are the antifungal agents given in the form of oral tablets. Itraconazole and fluconazole are the newer antifungal agents and they are safer and efficacious than the griseofulvin that is an old antifungal agent. The oral therapy with antifungal agents is a very long therapy and extends to almost 3 months. Visit For more details on Ringworm Treatment at home.