Ringworm is a term that is used to describe a skin condition caused by fungal infection. Unlike its name ring worm is not caused by worms but a fungal infection that affects the skin tissue producing round red spots on the skin. We would be learning more about ringworm in this write up called what is ringworm.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin causing round red spots to appear. The scientific name for ringworm is tinea. Ringworm can affect almost anyone, however ringworm is found to be a very common fungal infection among children. The infection is known to affect animals like dogs and cats as well and you may also see multiple infected sites on a person.
Ringworm is a very contagious disease and spreads through contact of the infected skin area. Ringworm infections are very common in humid damp conditions .
Causes of ringworm
Ringworm is caused by a fungi, called a dermatophytes or skin fungi, when someone is infected by a dermatophytes fungi that condition is called as dermatophytosis. These skin fungi live on the dead keratin layer found on the surface of skin cells. Hot and moist conditions help these fungi to propagate, this is the reason that ringworm is found to be more common in the groin, skin folds and toes, which can remain moist due to sweating. When ring worm affects the toes it is called athletes foot.
Types of Ringworm
There are diffrent typrs of ringworm distinguished by the area that they affect:
- Tinea barbae: This form of ringworm affects the area of the face and neck that is covered with hair. It is characterized by inflammation, crusting and itching. It can also cause hair loss in the affected area
- Tinea capitis: Tinea capitis is a type of ringworm that affects the scalp and is common among children. It is characterised by scaling and bald spots.
- Tinea corporis: Tinea corporis is a ringworm condition that affects the skin producing the characteristic round red spots, usually these spots have an active outer ring as they continue to grow.
- Tinea cruris: Tinea cruris or Tinea of the groin is also called jock itch, and is characterised by a reddish-brown color and is found to infect the skin folds of the groin.
- Tinea faciei : Tinea faciei is a ringworm condition that affects the facial skin and is characterised by red scaly patches on the face.
- Tinea manus: Tinea manus is a ringworm condition that affects the palms and space between the fingers, causing a thickening of the skin, It normally affects only one hand and is usually accompanied with ringworm of the feet
- Tinea pedis: Tinea pedis is also called Athlete’s foot and is found to affect the feet especially the webbing between the toes, causing scaling and inflammation. Tinea pedis also cause thickening of the skin on the heels and soles and can cause blisters to form on the soles and between the toes.
- Tinea unguium: Tinea unguium is a ringworm condition that affects sthe nails making them thick, yellowish in colour and makes them crumbly. It is also called fungal nails or onychomycosis.
Ringworm can usually be diagnosed by the characteristic spotting or scaling that it causes, a examination by your doctor can confirm if you are infected with ringworm. Ringworm is a very contagious disease and can spread rapidly. It is very important to maintain good hygiene levels to avoid ringworm infection.