The Difference Between Ringworm and Roundworm

The Difference Between Ringworm and Roundworm

They have very similar names, but ringworm and roundworm are very different from each other. However, they are both conditions that commonly affect children, and your pets can carry both. By knowing the difference you will be able to treat your child or family member appropriately.

What Causes Ringworm and Roundworm?

The Difference Between Ringworm and RoundwormRoundworm is an infection caused by a tiny parasite that lives in the intestinal tract of domestic animals like cats and dogs. Ascariasis (the medical name for roundworm) is particularly common when your pets are young as the parasites are passed to the kittens and puppies before birth, or while the mothers are nursing them. They can also become infected with roundworm if they eat the worm eggs in another animal’s stool.

Your child can also ingest these eggs if they kiss the animals or touch them and don’t wash their hands, but they can also pick them up in parks or play areas that dogs and cats frequent. Roundworm is not common in the US, so if you have travelled to a warm, foreign country and your child becomes infected, it is likely this is where they picked it up.
Ringworm, on the other hand, is not caused by a worm at all. A person or child becomes infected by a fungus when they come into contact with another person or pet that is infected with it.

Tinea Corporis can affect the skin of all parts of the body, including the scalp. It flourishes in warm conditions so is also often picked up in locker rooms or swimming areas, or on foreign trips.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

The Difference Between Ringworm and RoundwormUsually you will not be aware that your child has roundworm, and the roundworms can live inside the small intestine for up to two years. You may notice the eggs or worms when you are changing your baby’s diaper or assisting your older child with toileting, as female roundworms lay thousands of eggs every day and they leave the body through the stools. The worms can also exit the body through the mouth or nose. Other things that may raise alarm bells include a loss of appetite, a fever, coughing, wheezing, if your child complains of stomach pains, or has suffered sudden weight loss.
Ringworm is easy to spot as it causes round, red, scaly patches on the face, body or scalp. They can be single lesions or occur in groups. They can become very itchy, crusty and even start to ooze.

How Are They Diagnosed?

Your doctor will request a stool sample to see if there are eggs present after a bowel movement to diagnose roundworm. For ringworm, simply looking at the lesion is enough to diagnose the condition, but a skin scraping can also be done to confirm it.

Are They Dangerous?

Roundworm rarely causes harm to the host, but sometimes the larvae of the parasites can cause damage to body tissue or nerves when they move through the body. If they lodge in the eye they could even cause blindness.
Ringworm causes no short- or long-term harm, but it can cause a lot of discomfort and will recur frequently if not treated properly. The lesions can become infected.

How Are They Treated?

It is very easy to treat roundworm. You can get a medication from your pharmacist that will kill the worms in about three days. In very severe and rare cases surgery is needed to remove the worms if they obstruct the bowel. Ringworm is easily treated with an appropriate anti-fungal cream. Homeopathic treatments and natural home remedies such iodine or neem oil are also effective.

Homeopathic Treatments for Ringworm in Children

Homeopathic Treatments for Ringworm in Children

If you have noticed circular scaly patches on the skin of your child’s body or scalp, it could indicate that they are infected with ringworm. While the name may lead you to think they are hosting a form of parasite, ringworm (or tinea corporis as it is known) is actually a fungus. A medical practitioner would diagnose this by taking a skin scraping of the affected site, and then would likely prescribe an anti-fungal cream. There are also a number of natural and home-based remedies that can be used to treat ringworm, including iodine and neem oil.
This may be very affective for some, but if you find your child is suffering recurring infections of ringworm, you could find a long-term solution by exploring how homeopathy can benefit him. Of course you should also rule out all factors that could be reinfecting your child. These include washing bedding on a high temperature and checking none of your pets are infected with ringworm. Also inform your child’s school so that other children can be checked for ringworm infections because it is so contagious.

Homeopathy and Fungal Infections

Homeopathic Treatments for Ringworm in ChildrenWhile it is termed an alternative medical treatment, homeopathy is different from herbal or Chinese medicine. It is also considered a holistic medicine. This means it treats the whole person, not just the physical symptoms of the disease or infection. It works by stimulating your body’s ability to heal by using minute amounts of natural substances.
If you are rundown or your immune system is compromised you are more prone to a ringworm infection, which is why this holistic approach to treatment is considered very effective. By working with a homoeopathist, you will be able to treat the ringworm by addressing the factors that are making you more susceptible to it. Homeopathic treatment for ringworm in children is safe.

If they are too small to take the tiny pills, or are resistant to it, your homeopathist may be able to put together a treatment plan in a topical form. It is advisable to check with your medical practitioner before you proceed with any treatment that is offered to you.

What Treatments Will Work

There are a wide range of homeopathic medicines that are suitable for rebalancing your body to heal a fungal infection. Your homoeopathist will need to look at the location of the lesions, what it feels like (is it itchy or sore?) and the severity. Based on these factors you or your child will be given an individualized remedy.
Because homeopathy works on the philosophy of treating “like with like” some of the treatments may be derived from materials that taken in large doses can call illness. As homeopathy uses such tiny doses, it will stimulate your body’s defenses, promoting healing rather than harm.
The homeopathy pellets you may be prescribed to treat ringworm include:

Homeopathic Treatments for Ringworm in ChildrenBacillinum


Calcaria Carb


Apis Mel


Merc Sol

Rhus Tox



Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Ringworm?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Ringworm?

Ringworm is not caused by worms but by a fungus. This fungus can cause circular or ring-shaped patches on the skin which are both itchy and red. Ringworm is very contagious and can spread easily between humans as well as between pets and humans, especially from cats. Ringworm enjoys dark and moist areas and often occur in parts of the body like the feet or the groin. Using apple cider vinegar to treat ringworm has been helpful for some people when used as a topical application.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Ringworm?Apple cider vinegar is used as a natural treatment for many different things and it is especially effective in the treatment of fungi like ringworm because of its anti-fungal properties. By topically applying apple cider vinegar to the infected area using cotton in either a ball or swab form, people can reduce and even eliminate the ringworm infection. This treatment must be used a few times per day in order for it to be effective.

Apple cider vinegar may relieve a lot of the irritation associated with ringworm or fungal infections although the application can cause a brief stinging. This stinging does not last long. The apple cider vinegar may work to kill the ringworm fungus and as it works the skin infection will grow less severe and in some cases completely disappear.

There are several benefits to using apple cider vinegar as a treatment method for ringworm and other fungi. Apple cider vinegar is a safe and natural treatment that doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that many of the creams and powders available from pharmacies do. People often feel more comfortable using an all-natural treatment on their pets or children because it is non-toxic and contact with it is not dangerous. However, some instances of ringworm may be severe and these may not be able to be cured with apple cider vinegar alone. If an infection persists for several weeks, consulting a doctor and the use of a prescription strength anti-fungal may be necessary to treat serious infections. Many mild fungal infections can be treated in the home with apple cider vinegar.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Ringworm?Although apple cider vinegar is safe and non-toxic, it is very acidic and should still be kept out of reach of children. The acid may results in skin burns in some people and so it is best to only use a small amount during the first dose and to make sure to observe the skin carefully during the first days of use. Put a small dose of apple cider vinegar on an area that is not infected with ringworm before beginning the treatment on infection areas. Determining a sensitivity to apple cider vinegar is important to prevent any further discomfort or any potential burns.

Medical doctors or homeopaths like Dr. Christina Starkman can provide advice for those who are hoping to find a suitable home treatment for fungal infections like ringworm, such as a apple cider vinegar. Dr. Starkman says that the use home remedies may only be effective for infections that cause one or two areas of discomfort.

Dr. Starkman suggests that soaking a towel in apple cider vinegar and applying it to the affected are for two 30 minute sessions per day can take care of ringworm infections in three to four weeks, though Dr. Starkman insists that any serious infections should be treated by a doctor.

Can Pets Carry Ringworm?

Can Pets Carry Ringworm?

Ringworm is not caused by worms but by different types of fungi. Humans can get ringworm from other humans, animals and infected soil. In animals, the affected areas are often marked by a circle or ring shaped patch on the skin. It is also common to find patches of hair or fur loss in infected areas. Many humans contract ringworm from their pets however there are several species of animals that can pass ringworm on to both humans and their pets.

Ringworm can be a very persistent fungal infection to cure and most treatments include the use of an anti-fungal medication. These medications may be natural remedies or prescription remedies obtained from a health care specialist.Can Pets Carry Ringworm?

The biggest transmitters of ringworm to humans are dogs and cats who are kept in the home as pets. Animals that have recently been adopted from shelters or other group living environments often come with mild infections like ringworm. Because there are several animals in a small environment in shelters and homes, the fungus that causes ringworm infections is very common and hard to remove entirely from that environment.

This is especially true with younger animals who are still developing a strong enough immune system to block out these infections. In cats, ringworm presents itself with scaly skin or areas that are missing fur or are bare.

Horses are another animal that are known for transmitting ringworm to humans. Ringworm presents itself in horses similarly to how it presents itself in cats and dogs. In horses, ringworm usually presents itself on small patches of scaly skin and often results in hair loss in the affected areas. Similarly to cats and dogs, younger horses carry a higher risk for infection and transmission than older horses do but older horses can carry ringworm as well. If an owner finds that their horse has been infected by ringworm, it is suggested that the infected horse should be isolated and that the infected area on the horse be treated using some sort of equine fungicide.

Can Pets Carry Ringworm?Sheep were never considered to be major carriers of ringworm until the early 1990s when several studies proved that this was not the case and that sheep can contract ringworm. When sheep are shorn in a manner that is very close to their skin, they lose their protective wool barrier. Sheep who are without this wool barrier see an increase in ringworm infections and transmissions as opposed to sheep who keep their wool.

Many other common farm animals can contract and spread ringworm between themselves and humans. Goats, pigs, and cattle may all be infected with ringworm and can pass it on to the other animals in their environment. Animals that are infected with ringworm are usually prevented from being entered in exhibitions because of the likelihood of the transmission of the disease between animals and people.

Almost any animal can pass ringworm on to humans. In rural areas that are dependent on agriculture,  nearly 80 percent of people who contracted ringworm picked it up from animals. Many animals like birds, rodents, rabbits, or ferrets can also contract ringworm and pass it on to humans. Even primates who are living in laboratories may be infected with ringworm and pass it on to other primates and humans either through the infected environment or through direct contact.

Did I Get Ringworm at the Gym?

Did I Get Ringworm at the Gym?

The itchy, red round patches known as ringworm are not actually the product of a parasitic worm despite its name. Ringworm is the product of a fungus which is known as tinea. This fungus is highly infectious and spreads easily especially in in conditions where there may be a build up of moisture. Gyms are one of the most likely places to catch a strain of the tinea fungus because they are full of equipment that can be covered in moisture. Mats, balls and floors provide comfortable homes for different types of tinea fungi because they attract moisture and are constantly being touched. If ringworm has been contracted it does require treatment, usually with a type of anti-fungal topical medication. The prevention of ringworm in a gym environment can be difficult but if gym-goers follow several basic steps they can usually avoid the unnecessary irritation caused by the tinea fungus.

Did I Get Ringworm at the Gym?It is important to change your clothes each time you go to the gym. It is important to wash and thoroughly dry both gym clothes and bathing suits after every use. Washing your gym bag and your shoes periodically can prove to be important as well. The fungus that causes ringworm enjoys damp and dark conditions like the depths of gym bags or lockers. Ringworm is highly communicable and leaving clothes on an infected floor can lead them to becoming infected with fungus.

It is also important to shower after every work out and depending on your susceptibility to fungus, using a quality anti-fungal soap may be required as well. When walking in the locker room or the showers, it is still important to wear sandals or shoes to protect the feet from picking up any tinea fungus hiding on the floor. Shampooing the hair can also be an important part of this process, particularly if you went swimming.

Using your own equipment can provide an important advantage in protecting you from ringworm infections. Using your own towel, yoga mat and your own toiletries will prevent you from having to share with anyone who is already infected with ringworm. It is also important to clean your things regularly- washing your towel after every use as well as spraying any mats or equipment your brought with you. A tea tree oil anti-fungal spray can make for a useful deterrent in keeping fungus of your mat.Did I Get Ringworm at the Gym?

Wiping any communal equipment in the gym is an important step in preventing any communicable disease in the gym. Using disinfectant wipes or sprays on the equipment can help prevent the build up of fungus on the machine and also prevent it from spreading around the gym. Remember to wash the equipment used in contact sports is very important especially equipment like helmets, gloves and eye wear.

Finally, avoiding direct contact with other gym goers may be beneficial, especially if one or both of you are sweaty after a hard work out. Make sure everyone is showered or clean before going in for a high five or a hug after the gym.

It is important to remember that ringworm is not visible right away and that someone can be contagious before they show any symptoms of ringworm. Symptoms can take anywhere from four days up to ten days to appear so take preventative measures to ensure you don’t unwittingly spread ringworm to other members of  your gym. If you or someone you know has an impaired immune system, take extra precautions because the risk of contracting ringworm might be higher than others.

Another important tip is to reconsider the way plastic bags are used. Reusing plastic bags can allow a lot of bacteria to grow in them and cause them to become contaminated. It is important to clean even the reusable bags along with the clothes or towels they may contain.