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Read Additional Information About Ringworm

Ringworm caused by several different kinds of fungi. Fungi can exist somewhere on the body. Fungi are organisms that survive by eating plant or animal material, those that cause parasitic infection (d...

Ringworm caused by several different kinds of fungi. Fungi can exist somewhere on the body. Fungi are organisms that survive by eating plant or animal material, those that cause parasitic infection (dermatophytes) feed on keratin, the material found in the outer layer of skin, hair, and nails. They rarely invade deeper into the body and cannot live on mucous membranes, such as those in the mouth or vagina. The condition is known as ringworm because it can leave a ring-like, red rash on the skin and not because it has anything to do with worms.

Ringworm can influence skin on your body, scalp, groin region (tinea cruris), or feet (tinea pedis, also known athlete's foot). Ringworm can affect anyone at anytime. Ringworm is particularly among children, but it may affect people of all ages. Ringworm is widespread around the globe and in the United States. Many different kinds of animals can transmit ringworm to people. Ringworm is transmitted from direct contact with an infected animal's skin or hair. Ringworm is mildly contagious. Ringworm is also a common infection in domestic animals, especially farm animals, dogs and cats and even small pets like hamsters or guinea pigs.

Humans can contract ringworm from these animals as humans are in close contact with them. It is estimated that between 10-20% of all people will experience at least one fungal infection during their lifetime. The symptoms of ringworm involve itchy, red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply-defined edges. They are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center. This may create the appearance of a ring. Your skin may also appear unusually dark or light. If nails are infected, they become discolored, thick, and even crumble.

Sometimes a ringworm infection may cause skin lesions in a part of the body that is remote from the genuine infection. Ringworm is usually easily treated with antifungal creams and lotions. Antifungal pills may be given if your hair is infected. Ringworm is difficult to prevent. The fungus is very common, and it is contagious even before symptoms appear. Some steps when you follow to prevent infection of fungi. Keep common-use areas clean, especially in schools, day-care centers, gyms, and locker rooms. Do not share clothing, towels, hair brushes, or other personal items. Educate the public, particularly parentsFree Reprint Articles, about the risk of ringworm.

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