RINGWORM (TINEA CORPORIS)
Ringworm, also known as Tinea corporis, is a very common fungal infection that affects the skin. Anyone can get infected with ringworm. The name ‘ringworm’ does not indicate that worm is involved. Instead, it is due to the appearance of an itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle.
Ringworm is caused by approximately 40 different species of fungi. They include Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. It is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal (cat, dog or cattle). It can also be spread through infected objects, surfaces or soil.
Tinea corporis (ringworm) is related to other fungal infections. These are Tinea pedis/Athlete’s foot (found on the feet), Tinea capitis (found on the scalp), Tinea cruris/ Jock itch (found in the inner thighs or groin), Tinea barbae (found on the beards), Tinea manuum (found on the hands) and Tinea unguium / Onychomycosis (found on the toenails or fingernails).
The risk factors for ringworm include weakened immune systems, using public showers or locker rooms, wearing tight shoes, sweating excessively and having contact with infected people or animals.
The symptoms of ringworm appear within 4 to 14 days after contact with the fungi. They include itchy skin, ring-shaped rash and red, scaly, cracked skin.
Laboratory diagnosis is by microscopy and culture of a skin scraping. Ringworm can be prevented through practising proper hand washing, maintaining dry and clean skin, not walking barefoot in locker rooms or public places, wearing well-ventilated shoes, keeping fingernails and toenails clean and clipped, washing hands immediately after touching pets and not sharing towels or other personal items.
If any of the symptoms are noticed, visit MedBioTechLab for proper laboratory tests. Early diagnosis enables early treatment.