Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by worms. Rather, it is a fungal infection that causes both an unattractive blemish and skin irritation. Common symptoms of ringworm (also known as tinea) including a clearly defined rash, the center of which is unblemished, unaffected skin. Thus, the rash has a ‘ring’ shape, hence the term ringworm.
Ringworm rashes often form along the sides of the face, around the groin on the scalp (in areas where there is no hair) and even along the edges of fingernails and toenails. In case a ringworm forms around a nail, immediate action is required, for if the rash goes without treatment for long periods of time, permanent discoloration and/or loss of the nail are likely to occur. Studies show that up to 20% of today’s population has, at one time, been afflicted with ringworm.
There are a number of ointments and creams that are clinically proven to treat ringworm. One such product is the Lotrimin AF Ringworm Cream, an odorless cream that soothes the area almost immediately after application. Blue Star Ointment is another public favorite that can be used for treatment of people in all age groups.
Apart from the medications available for ringworm treatment, there are also a few natural procedures one can take to ensure quicker recovery.
One such procedure is to constantly air the affected area, providing it with as much fresh air as possible. If the rash occurs in a private part or in the foot, make sure that underclothing and socks are frequently changed. Furthermore, one can also apply regular cold-water washes to the affected skin. After the washing, dry off the area thoroughly. No moisture should be left on the area, as it could precipitate the further growth and spreading of the fungus.
If the scalp is affected, never share combs, caps, or other head-related accessories. Wear only loose-fitting clothes that are comprise mainly of natural fibers, such as cotton. Avoid synthetic materials if at all possible.
Ringworm is very contagious and spreads easily from person to person. At all costs, avoid sharing clothes, utensils and other related accessories. In case of scalp infections, remember that combs, caps and other related headgear should not be shared.
Ringworm’s potency is often underestimated. If not cared for properly, the fungus can quickly spread to other areas of the body. If security measures are not taken, then the infection can also rapidly infect family members or anyone with whom the patient is in contact with. Make sure that ringworm is treated at the very earliest.