Why am i writing about Ringworm? Well with the rainy season i now have the misfortune of experiencing it on the side of my small toes. Not a pleasant experience and seems I have picked it up in the rain. Although the water isn’t deep its enough to cover the feet now and again and the water has been running down the road like a small stream so who knows what is in it.
The other problem I have is a few blisters and cuts from wearing boots for the first time in eight months which also seem to have gone a bit sickly. So walking around lately hasn’t been fun. Anyway going to cover the Athlete’s foot/Ringworm today as there is a risk of YOU getting it as well and also how to deal with it if you get it.
Ringworm is a very common skin disorder especially amongst children but can affect people of all ages. Although its called “ringworm” its actually caused by a fungus not a worm.
The body naturally has bacteria and fungi living on it. Some are useful and others like ringworm can rapidly multiple and cause infections.
Ringworm is contagious and should be treated as so to limit risk of infection. It can be passed on by direct contact skin to skin or by contaminated items such as combs, dirty clothing or water surfaces. Animals can also pass it on and cats are one of the most common carriers.
The fungi that cause ringworm thrive in warm, moist areas (ring any bells with the Philippines?!) It is also more likely when you have frequent wetness such as from sweating or the current wet season causing feet to be damp regular. Also having minor injuries to skin, scalp or nails can increase the risk.
- Itchy, red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply-defined edges. They are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center. This may create the appearance of a ring. Your skin may also appear unusually dark or light.
- When your scalp or beard is infected, you will have bald patches.
- If nails are infected, they become discoloured, thick, and even crumble.
Treating the infection
Ringworm usually responds well to self-care within 4 weeks without having to see a doctor.
- Keep your skin clean and dry where possible.
- Apply over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, lotions, or creams. Those that contain Miconazole, Clotrimazole, or similar ingredients are often effective.
- Wash sheets and nightclothes every day while infected.
If the infection persists I would request that you see a doctor as Antifungal pills or skin medications such as Ketoconazole may be required and are stronger than what is available without perscription. Antibiotics may also be required for persistant bacterial infections. Also any pets should be treated to break the cycle.
Its very likely that within 4 weeks the Ringworm would have cleared up but if it hasn’t a visit to the doctor for some stronger treatments should pretty much cure it.