Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm. Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes. It is closely related to jock itch and athlete’s foot diseases that are also caused by the dermatophytes fungus.
Ringworm appears as a red and circular rash that is clear at the center. Ringworm rashes usually itch and they gradually become large and spread to other unaffected parts of the body.
The main problem with the ringworm infection is that it is highly contagious. The dermatophytes fungus lives on the outer skin layer and it spreads from one person to another through direct contact or when someone comes into contact with infected items such as shared clothing, bedding, and brushes. You can also get infected with ringworm when you come into direct contact with an infected animal like a pet or the farm animals in your barn. An individual will also get infected when he or she comes into contact with a surface that has been touched by an infected animal such as the walls, soil, and items in your farmhouse. The infection can also spread from one part of the body to another through contact such as when you touch a lesion with a razor and then use the razor somewhere else.
The risk factors for ringworm include having close contact and sharing objects with a person or animal that is infected. You are also likely to get the infection when you live in a damp, humid, and crowded environment as these are the perfect conditions for the ringworm fungi to thrive. Those who take part in sports that involve a lot of skin to skin contact are also at risk of getting infected.
Treatment for Ringworm
Unless your immune system is impaired, the ringworm fungus is not likely to cause serious illness. A trained physician is able to diagnose the infection by simply looking at the rashes on your skin. The doctor may also take scrapings from the rashes for lab analysis just to confirm the diagnosis.
Treating the ringworm infection is fairly straightforward as well. The doctor will prescribe an antifungal cream that you will rub over the rashes several times a day. Follow the doctor’s instructions on how to use the ringworm treatment for the best results. You may be tempted to stop using the cream when the rashes start to clear but this is a wrong move and it will result in the rashes reappearing after some time.
Garlic for ringworm is a home remedy that you may consider if the infection is not severe. Garlic has powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that make it ideal as a treatment for ringworm infection. When applied on the affected part of the skin for about 2 days, the garlic will prevent the infection from spreading any further as well as killing the fungus that causes the infection. The success rate for garlic as a treatment for ringworm is limited in most cases but it is worth a try if you are not able to access specialized treatment from a trained physician.