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Ringworm: prevention, diagnosis and treatment

Ringworm: prevention, diagnosis and treatment


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Fungi are the cause of skin problems caused by ringworm, a disease that can also affect the scalp and nails. Infections called ringworms go by different names, depending on the area affected.

Thus, when it occurs between the toes it is called 'athlete's foot', when it appears on the body it is called 'tinea corporis', when it affects the nails it is called "tinea unguium", when it affects the Scalp is called 'tinea capitis' and when it affects the groin area it is called 'tinea cruris'.

The appearance of the skin is the key for the doctor to establish the diagnosis. But in addition, this can be confirmed with two types of tests: one consists of taking a sample of the affected skin and analyzing it under the microscope and another in lighting the affected area with the wood lampas the fungus can appear fluorescent when the skin is examined under a blue light in a dark room.

Ringworm is easier to treat when it affects the skin. The skin should be kept clean and it is recommended to apply antifungal powders, lotions or creams for topical or external use. These products generally contain miconazole and clotrimazole. And in addition, it is important to wash the sheets and bath or shower towels every day while the infection lasts.

Medicines for the skin are effective in a period of 4 weeks. On the other hand, when ringworm affects the scalp or nails or the infection seems severe or persistent, it is necessary to administer antifungal medications by mouth. Antibiotics may also be needed to treat related bacterial infections. For this reason, see your doctor right away if you have signs of a bacterial infection such as inflammation, hot skin to the touch, sudden worsening of redness in skin patches, red lines, pus or other discharge, and fever. These additional infections can appear as a consequence of scratching, for example. However, you should always seek medical help if ringworm infects the scalp or beard, or if the skin does not improve with self-care measures within 4 weeks.

Ringworm is a contagious disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another. For these reasons, ringworm is a difficult disease to prevent, but take precautions:

1. Avoid touching the infected areas of other people's skin.

2. Avoid contact with infected animals such as cats or dogs.

3. Keep your skin clean and dry.

4. Shampoo regularly, especially after a haircut.

5. Regularly wash the clothes you use for sports.

6. Always take a shower after practicing sports because the dematophytes settle on the skin and proliferate with sweat (heat and humidity).

7. Avoid sharing clothes, towels, hairbrushes, combs, hats, or other personal care items. These items should be washed and dried very well after use.

8. Wear sandals or shoes in gyms, locker rooms and swimming pools. Do not go barefoot in public areas.

9. Avoid touching pets that have hairless patches.

10. Wash your hands often after handling pets.

Marisol New. Editor of our site

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