Ringworm is a type of infectious fungal illness that affects various body parts. The affected body parts include, the skin, nails, scalp, and feet. The disease can affect both humans and domesticated animals, such as sheep and cattle. Based on the affected area, there are different types of ringworms; ringworm of body (tinea corporis)’, ringworm of nails and feet (tinea pedis) and ringworm of scalp (tinea capitis).
Previously, many people believed this condition was caused by worm, hence, the term ringworm. However, studies have shown that ringworm is actually caused by a fungal infection.. The symptoms vary depending on the affected area. Ringworm of skin results in red, itchy rash that develops in ring-like pattern. Usually its takes about 10 days for the fungus to develop within your body after which the irritating red ringworms will appear. Ringworms of the nails mostly result in discolored nails, while scalp-ringworm may lead to baldness .
How Contagious is Ringworm?
Many people ave always wondered whether this infection is contagious. The answer is yes, ringworm is a contagious disease. Due its nature it can spread at an alarming rate to all those who come in contact with the affected person. Apart from this, the fungus can also spread through soil, water, bedding, utensils, fabrics and towels.
How Long Is Ringworm Contagious For?
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Basically, you can catch ringworms through the following ways.
1. Direct contact with infected person.
2. Using objects owned by an infected person. Sharing a towel, comb, slippers and other personal items with an infected individual can lead to this disease.
3. Ringworms can also be acquired by stepping on an unclean and moist surface. Since the fungus thrives in moist environments, bathroom floors and similar surfaces have high possibility of the fungus.
4. Contact with infected animals. If you touch or groom an infected animal, you can acquire the infection. Animals that carry ringworms include dogs, cats, cows, goats, pigs, guinea pigs and horses.
5. Contact with soil. Although this is rare, you can catch ringworm from soil. Long exposure on infected soil can cause the infection.
Ringworms can easily be treated with anti-fungal creams along with proper medical prescription of a doctor. All you need to do is apply the anti-fungal cream twice a day and then cover the affected area using a special bandage.
You need to be very patient when treating ringworms. Disappearance of red rings doesn’t imply that the infection is over. You need to keep applying the cream until the doctor tells you to stop.
Further clean your bedding and other utensils which you have used during the tenure of your infection. This will stop the fungus from spreading.