Ringworm is a fungal infection and is one of the common skin conditions. However, it is not free from several misconceptions busted by us here.
Ringworm is a fungal infection and is characterized by red and bumpy patches with intense itching. Nearly 70% of Americans have some form of ringworm, meaning that it is the most common skin condition in the USA. Despite being a common disease, ringworm is not free from several misconceptions. This is because of its similarity with other skin diseases like psoriasis and scabies. It affects your outlook and deprives you of the right treatment on time.
Here we have debunked the myths about ringworms along with the facts.
Myth#1: Worm Causes Ringworm:
The biggest misconception about ringworm is that it is caused by worm. Contrary to its “name”, ringworm is caused by fungi (dermatophytes), not by a worm. The fungi reside on your skin.
Ringworm Resolves on Its Own, Hence You Don’t Need Treatment:
While mild signs of ringworm may resolve on their own, you need treatment to avoid the risks of catching infection on other body parts. Therefore, you should use OTC antifungal cream to treat it in earlier stages. In some cases, the condition becomes severe and leads to permanent issues like hair loss when it spreads to the scalp.
Ringworm Only Occurs on the Skin:
It can affect fingernails or toenails. However, the symptoms are different than those occurring on the skin. They can occur as yellowish, thick and brittle pattern on the nails.
Red Rings are the Only Signs of Ringworm:
Ringworm can occur with other signs like red bumpy patches on your skin. It can look like a crusty red pimple if occurs on the scalp.
Ringworm is Not Contagious:
Ringworm is a 100% infectious disease. You catch it from infected person through close physical contact and by using his belongings. Besides, you have chances to get ringworm while using communal areas like locker room and swimming pool. Therefore, you must avoid physical contact with the patients and follow precautions while using communal areas.
Only Doctor Can Treat Ringworms:
While you need physician in severe cases, you can treat the mild to moderate symptoms with antifungal creams and OTC medication. These medications should be used as per the given directions on the pack. See your physician if there is no improvement in your condition.
So, these were the common myths about ringworm you must know. One thing is for sure that you can efficiently treat ringworm with right medication and precaution. Whether you are using OTC or prescribed medication for ringworm, you must keep these precautions in mind:
- Don’t share towels, bedding, hairbrushes and clothes with a patient
- Take your pet to see a vet to know if it is has ringworm
- Make sure to maintain good personal hygiene
- Avoid scratching the affected area
- Dry your skin well between toes and where skin touches skin such as in the groin and armpits after taking a shower.
- Wear loose clothes to reduce sweat and moisture