If you suspect that you have ringworm, then it is important that you read through these ringworm symptoms and indications to determine whether or not you have ringworm. If you do have several of these ringworm symptoms, then you may need to visit your doctor in order to get properly treated.
What is Ringworm?
Contrary to its name, ringworm is actually a fungal infection of the skin and is not caused by worms or other parasites. Ringworm affects both humans and animals. It is contagious and can be passed between humans and animals as well. The fungi that can cause ringworm can be found in soil and animal feces.
What are the Ringworm Symptoms?
Ringworm symptoms vary slightly based on where you have been infected. Here are the most common ringworm symptoms that are seen in humans:
- scaly, red, raised patched of skin, and/or itchy
- patches of skin that ooze or develop blisters
- red patches of skin that are deeper red on the outside of the ring
- patches of skin which have raised and more defined edges.
If your nails are infected, they will become discolored, thick, and may crack. If your scalp is involved, you will experience bald patches.
Ringworm symptoms in cats, dogs and in other animals are similar, beginning with a loss of fur in the infected area where red, itchy patches of skin will appear. Because of the ability of this fungus to pass from animals to humans, it is important to recognize the symptoms in your pets as to avoid getting infected from them.
Because ringworm-causing fungi are commonly found in soil and animal feces, contact with these things without properly washing your hands can put you at a risk for developing ringworm. Coming into contact with infected humans and animals can also spread the infection. It is also important to note that people who have suppressed immune systems are at a much higher risk of contracting ringworm.
Ringworm Diagnosis Techniques
If you suspect that you have symptoms of ringworm, you can visit your doctor to confirm. Your doctor may simply use the ringworm symptoms and indications to diagnose you, but they may also choose to do various skin tests to be certain that it is the fungi that is causing your skin problem and not something else. Because of the distinct look that ringworm usually has, diagnosis is typically fairly quick and simple.
Ringworm Treatment Options
Fortunately, anti-fungal medications are best treatment ringworm and careful care. Your doctor can prescribe you an anti-fungal medication that will help kill the existing fungi and prevent them from spreading further. It is also important to keep the infected areas clean and to thoroughly wash your hands after applying medication to prevent spreading the infection to other parts of your body or to other people.
When ringworm symptoms in humans are caught early and it is treated quickly, the infected patches of skin typically heal within 1 to 2 weeks. In most cases, the skin will return to normal within a few months and scars fade in a short period of time.