Recognizing Ringworm Symptoms
In spite of the name, ringworm has nothing to do with worms. It is a fungal infection that attacks skin on the body, scalp, and nails. Ringworm is caused by dermatophytes, which are organisms found in soil and other parts of nature. It is also called tinea and is highly contagious.
Anyone can catch it. Most susceptible to ringworm are children and people who work with animals on a regular basis. It is caught by direct skin contact with others who have it as well as infected animals. It can also be caught by touching objects containing the fungus. Common culprits of spreading ringworm are dogs and cats. Personal hygiene is vital to preventing ringworm, as well as avoiding the use of another person’s personal things. Your pet dog or cat should be checked regularly to insure they are not infected.
Beginning symptoms of ringworm on the scalp typically show up in 10 to 14 days following contamination. Body ringworm will show symptoms earlier than that. A diagnosis is made by evaluating the symptoms of the patient. Since the symptoms showing are not always due to a dermatophytes infection, a sample of the infected skin is usually take by the doctor for laboratory testing. The first stages of the infection do not produce intense symptoms. That is why the best way to get a definite diagnosis is through skin analysis.
Typical ringworm symptoms include rash, inflammation of the skin, small blisters, reddish skin, soreness, and itching. The infection takes on the appearance of round patches which looks like a ring. The rims of these circles are typically more infected and become a bit crusty. As the infection spreads, the center area of these patches start healing.
For someone who has ringworm of the scalp, there will be symptoms of little bumps, temporary loss of hair, yellowish areas, and exfoliation. If you happen to develop ringworm on your feet, you will experience dry and cracked skin, some scaling, and skin thickening. Symptoms of nail ringworm are thickening of the nails, deterioration of the nails, and yellow nails. Ringworm on the face brings red spotting, inflammation, swelling, and exfoliation.
The faster the symptoms are diagnosed, the faster that treatment can begin and the spreading can be stopped. Think of other people when you think you may have ringworm. The sooner you are diagnosed the faster you will stop exposing people will be exposed to your symptoms. If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of ringworm, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
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