Ringworm is in actuality a fungal infection. Like all other fungal infections, ringworm is both very contagious and spreads along the body very fast, especially when appropriate steps are not taken to keep the affected area from spreading. Contrary to popular opinion, ringworm does not develop due to any sort of worm or any other sort of insect/animal.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus. Keratin is a type of tissue found in the human body, particularly in the hair, nails and skin. The tissue is both tough and waterproof.
What does this have to do with ringworm? The fungus that causes ringworm uses keratin as its primary food source. That is the reason a number of people are affected by ringworm today.
Fungi, unlike other life kingdoms, reproduces with the aid of spores. When the fungus fully matures, it releases numerous spores, all of which are light enough to be carried several miles by the wind. That is the reason why you hardly find different types of fungi growing nearby.
When these spores come in contact with your body, they latch on. If the spore in question is of the special type that causes ringworm, then the fungal infection can easily develop. Even if the spore does not directly come in contact with the body, humans can still pick it up from wherever it rests, in the soil, for example.
Ringworm is also prolific in animal pets, primarily cats and dogs.
As already said, ringworm spreads from person to person, person to animal, or animal to person extremely fast. If your dog/cat is infected with ringworm, you should only handle it with gloves to avoid catching the disease yourself. Once it is on you, it can very easily spread to family members or whomsoever you are in contact with.
Ringworm is more likely to develop in people who are at either extreme of age – either very young or very old. Those who are a diabetes patient are also more susceptible to this infection rather than most. If you have had any sort of fungal infection in the past, or if you have an immune system – weakening disease (such as AIDS) you are also likely to obtain the disease.
Ringworm can come about in a variety of ways, but ultimately it is due to a single fungus spore. Keeping yourself clean and avoiding dirty and unhygienic places is the best way you can avoid the disease.