Do you know what the symptoms of ringworm are? Ringworm is a type of skin infection that is caused by a fungus that can affect many areas of the body. Some of the areas that can be affected are the groin jock itch (tinea cruris), body (tinea corporis), head or scalp (tinea capitis) or your feet (tinea pedis) which is commonly known as athlete s foot, hands (tinea manus).
There are many symptoms of ringworm, including:
*Patches of skin that are red and itchy. These areas may be raised, they may ooze and they may have edges with a very distinctive definition. They have the appearance of a ring and the skin coloration is noticeably different from the surrounding skin.
*If you have an infection on your scalp, you may notice bald patches.
*If your nails are infected, they can thicken, become powdery, crumbly or discolored.
*Scaly, crusted, itchy rash.
The main term for ringworm is tinea and the second part of the definition is largely dependent on the location on the body where the infection is located. The main cause of ringworm is a skin fungi variety referred to as dermatophytes. Some of these varieties of fungi live on the skin, while others can be picked up from countless sources, and it may be difficult to identify exactly where the infection originated.
When you notice symptoms of ringworm, it is already at the point where you require treatment. Once you have had a diagnosis, you can seek treatment. Prevention is the best option, and the best way to prevent infection is to keep your body areas dry and clean. Common beliefs are that men should avoid tight-fitting underwear and women should avoid pantyhose, but these are not completely proven.
If you have symptoms of ringworm, your doctor may take a skin scraping for analysis. They will simply take a sample of your skin and then examine it under a microscope to determine if you have an infection. Once an infection has been diagnosed, then treatment can begin to eradicate the fungi. Some types of fungus do not respond to topical treatments, including scalp fungi and nail fungi. In cases such as this, oral medications are often used to treat the infection.
The symptoms of ringworm can be quite mild, or they can become much more severe, but the main thing is to identify that you have such an infection and then to seek treatment to prevent the spread of the infection.