A very contagious infection is ringworm. Clinically known as tinea, this skin infection causes red patches all over the body. It is a fungal infection caused by the microorganisms called dermatophytes.
Even if its name can make you believe that involves worms this infection has nothing to do with it. Its name comes from the ring-shaped skin patches.
Many forms of ringworm are known. Athletes foot or tinea pedis is a common infection that occurs mostly during warm weather. As any other type of ringworm, tinea pedis can spread from person to person. It is believed to be caused by either Trichophyton or Epidermophyton because it is known that these fungi grow in warm and moist areas. The fungus might cause mild scaling with or without redness or itching. This infection usually develops in older people or in people with inadequate blood flow to the feet. Because the fungus causes cracking of the skin people who develop this type of ringworm are prone for bacterial infections.
Nail ringworm is a form of tinea that is caused by Trichophyton. The fungus affects the nail, leading to a thickened, dull and deformed nail. Most affected are the toe nails.
Tinea cruris, also known as jock itch, is usually a consequence of warm weather. Most common in men than in women this infection begins in the skinfolds of the genital area and can spread to the upper inner thighs. Usually we can say that the penis and the scrotum are not affected. Once developed, this type of infection is believed to be recurrent.
Scalp ringworm is a type of tinea that mostly affects children. The primary cause for this type of ringworm is believed to be Trichophyton. Being very contagious and usually seen in children this type of ringworm, also known as tinea capitis, can easily lead to ringworm outbreaks. This infection is very itchy and leads to a fragile hair that easily rips away causing temporary baldness.
Involving different parts of the body tinea corporis may be caused by Trichophyton, Microsporum, or Epidermophyton. This infection produces round patches with scaly borders and clear center areas.
Tinea barbae, also known as beard ringworm is a very rare case. It is mostly caused by bacteria not fungi.
In order to treat ringworm doctors present us two alternatives: topical and oral treatment. All types of ringworms except those of the scalp and the nails are mild. For treating them doctors recommend antifungal lotions that in most of the cases have benefic effects. When you search for an antifungal drug to help you get rid of ringworm you have to seek for the following ingredients: miconazole, clotrimazole, econazole, oxiconazole, ciclopirox, ketoconazole, terbinafine and butenafine.
Oral treatment is recommended in cases when the infection spreads over a large area or if it is about scalp or nail ringworm. Treatment must contain terbinafine, itraconazole and griseofulvin.