The Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm

The Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm

When you discover a mark or rash on your body, it could be caused by a number of things. Dryness and eczema are common causes, but sometimes it could be that you are infected with ringworm. If you have established that it is not caused by an injury, dry skin or an allergy, then one of the possible causes is a fungus. Research shows that up to 7% of children in elementary schools are infected with the fungus that causes ringworm, so it is more common than you think. In fact, it is highly contagious.

The Signs and Symptoms of RingwormBody ringworm (officially called tinea corporis) can appear on the body, but also the face. As the name indicates, it is characterized by a ring-like rash. The following indicators or symptoms could help you determine if your rash is caused by this particular fungus:

  •  If you live in a warm climate or exercise regularly. Tinea corporis is more common in hot, humid areas as the fungus thrives in these conditions. Locker rooms or indoor swimming pools also provide the ideal climate for this fungus to flourish.
  • The lesion is circular, red and has elevated edges. It forms rapidly into the signature round shape, but the center may be clear. The lesions can become scaly, crusty or form fluid-filled areas that ooze. You will get small, bald patches forming if it affects your scalp.
  • The size can range from small up to 2 inches across and can occur alone or in groups of up to four lesions.
  • The rash is very itchy. When clothes rub against the rash it can irritate it, while sweating or humid air can also make the itching and infection worse.
  • The affected patches are on your trunk, legs, arms, neck and face.
  • If you have been exposed to children and cats, which are both common hosts, you are at higher risk of being infected with ringworm. If you have been in contact with an infected person, pet or surface, the ringworm lesion is likely to appear 4 to 10 days after the exposure.

The Signs and Symptoms of RingwormBecause the rings spread out as they progress they can merge together, which can confuse the diagnosis. When ringworm appears on the face and neck the signature rings may also not be apparent, and instead the skin may be itchy, swollen and dry. It can also be difficult to diagnose ringworm when it affects the hands too. When the skin becomes thicker on the palm and between the fingers, this could indicate a ringworm infection.
If you have any of these risk factors or symptoms, and are concerned you may be infected with ringworm, it is recommended you consult a medical practitioner for a formal diagnosis. This could include a skin scraping. A positive result will indicate to your doctor that you need a specific anti-fungal treatment, as this condition will not clear on its own.

Get Rid Of Ringworm Of The Scalp

Get Rid Of Ringworm Of The Scalp

It’s called ringworm by everyone you know, but tinea capitis, the medical term that’s used to describe those concerning scaly patches on the head that can appear out of the blue, has nothing to do with worms. Surprisingly, it’s actually caused by the same fungal infection that causes athlete’s foot. This highly contagious condition leads to itchy, bald patches on the head. While it can affect anyone with an immune system that has been compromised (if you are ill, run down, or suffer from a chronic condition), it is mostly young children that suffer from it.

Get Rid Of Ringworm Of The ScalpHow To Spot Ringworm

One of the most visible signs that someone has ringworm is when temporary bald patches form on the head. A parent may notice this when washing or drying the child’s hair.

Hair loss happens because when the fungus gets into the hair fibers it causes the hair to weaken. The exposed patches of skin can then form scaly, inflamed areas or puss-filled blisters. If the scalp becomes painful or very itchy it could indicate that it is infected.

How It Is Spread

You can contract ringworm if your skin, or in this case your scalp, comes into contact with the fungus on another person, or even a pet.

Get Rid Of Ringworm Of The ScalpWhat To Do To Prevent Infection

Some of the environments you come into contact with daily could pose a risk of infection. If you are traveling on public transport, by spraying the headrests on seats with a sterilizer you will help prevent the fungus infecting you. When you visit your barber or hair stylist, ask if the equipment they use is adequately cleaned. Similarly, avoid sharing or borrowing hats and hair tools like brushes and combs, and be aware that bedding materials can also be sources of infection.
Because ringworm thrives in warm, humid conditions, it’s also crucial to keep your scalp clean and dry if you think you may be at risk. Avoid leaving your hair to dry on its own after washing it; use a hairdryer or towel dry as much as possible. Even heavy sweating can create a fungus-friendly environment.

Take care to remove excessive moisture continually if this is something you suffer from.
Remember, ringworm is highly contagious, so avoid passing it on to others in your household (including your pets) or you will continually be exposed to it and become infected again.

How To Treat Ringworm

Anti-fungal Shampoos

There are a number of products available on the market that will effectively treat ringworm of the scalp. Look on the back of the bottles or containers to check if they contain the recommended ingredients. Hair shampoo with selenium sulfide or ketoconazole will offer relief by removing the fungus from the scalp if used at least twice daily. Although family members may not be visibly infected, they will need to use the antifungal shampoo too to prevent recurring fungal infections in your environment. Hair combs and brushes used on infected hair to remove the fungal spores should be thrown out.

Get Rid Of Ringworm Of The ScalpVinegar

Thanks to its acidic nature, vinegar (apple cider or white) is effective in treating the fungal infection. It can be used by applying cotton wool soaked in vinegar to the patches on the scalp. Apply generous amounts 2 to 3 times a day for as long as the infection lasts.

Neem Oil

Extracted from the fruit and seeds of the Indian tree, neem oil is renowned for its numerous medical properties. While it can be used for fighting viruses, bacteria, easing pain and reducing inflammation, it is also a well-known anti-fungal. These factors make it ideal to treat the discomfort associated with ringworm and help eliminate the fungal infection. Use products that contain 100% neem oil, applying to affected areas, or take it in capsule form to support the healing process.


Rubbing fresh, sliced garlic on infected areas, or taking it in supplement form, are other options as garlic also has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial powers. You can also make your own garlic paste by mincing it. Place this on the areas infected with ringworm for 30 minutes daily until it clears.

While these scalp ringworm treatments will all offer you relief, the most crucial part of treatment is to ensure you continually use them until the fungus is entirely eliminated.

Stopping the Spread of Ringworm

Stopping the Spread of Ringworm

Ringworm is not caused by an actual worm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes people to have a circular or ring shaped patch of scaly skin on their body. Ringworm is very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Although avoiding ringworm is very difficult, it is possible to prevent the spread of the infection.

Stopping the Spread of RingwormPreventing ringworm may require that people stop sharing personal items such as clothes, pillows and towel as well as cosmetic items such as make-up, hairbrushes or combs. These things can all carry ringworm from an infected to person to an uninfected person and sharing these personal items should be avoided especially if a confirmed case of ringworm has been diagnosed.

Personal hygiene is another important step in preventing ringworm. Keep both hair and skin clean as well as dry can remove the fungus that causes ringworm. Ringworm flourishes in areas that are dark and moist and it is therefore important to keep areas such as under near the arms or between the toes both clean and dry. Wearing light and breathable fabrics and shoes can help prevent a build up of moisture and prevent any existing infection from getting worse.

Stopping the Spread of RingwormIt is important to keep personal items clean as well. Washing clothes, bedding, and towels thoroughly and often is good for personal hygiene but it becomes imperative if someone in the home becomes infected with ringworm. Washing these items as well as hairbrushes, shoes and make-up brushes can help remove the fungus that causes ringworm from these items which should help prevent the transmission of the disease. Because fungus likes moisture, it is essential that things be dried properly after they are washed.

Keeping the home clean is another important step to preventing ringworm. Keeping bathrooms, counter tops and floors both clean and dry can help in the prevention of ringworm.

If a case of ringworm has been diagnosed in the house, cleaning public areas with an anti-fungal cleaner or with bleach can be a good way to disinfect the area and prevent the disease from spreading to other members of the household. If children are in the house, their toys, books and playthings should also be kept clean and dry and should be disinfected to stop disease from spreading.

Stopping the Spread of RingwormIf someone in the home has been infected with ringworm, try to avoid touching the skin around the are which has been infected with ringworm. Animals and pets may contract ringworm as well as pass it to humans so it is best to avoid petting them while they are infected as well. If contact must be made, it is best to both wash and dry the hands thoroughly as well as any part of the body that may have come into contact with an infected person or pet. If young children have contracted ringworm, keeping them home from school or nurseries and out of contact with other children can prevent the fungus from running rampant through a school or day care center.

Treating ringworm when it is diagnosed is essential to prevent the spread from one person to another. There are several options for treatment including over the counter medications which include drugs such as tolnaftate, clotrimazole, miconazole or terbinafine. Some over the counter medications are also available as a prescription from a doctor or health care professional. Serious cases of ringworm may require a prescription of anti-fungal medicine.

If using an over the counter medicine does not clear up the ringworm infection after a few weeks, contact a doctor.

The best ways to avoid contracting ringworm are to wear sandals or shoes to avoid any fungus living on the floors of locker rooms or swimming pools. Wearing fabrics like cotton that are not synthetics will help keep the skin dry and are good for preventing the spread of ringworm.

Ringworm Related Infections

Ringworm Related Infections

Fungal infections can be a part of the everyday lives of active children. Locker rooms, showers and sweaty clothes are the prime breeding grounds of the fungi that cause ringworm, jock itch and athlete’s foot. These fungal infections are known as tinea and they are the product of a fungi called dermatophytes which love dark, warm, moist areas and can live anywhere on the body including skin and hair.

Ringworm Related infectionsThe way these infections manifest themselves depends on what part of the body they are found on and where they were picked up. Fungal infections can be passed through soil, pets and other people. People who have minor injuries to their skin like breakages or scratches are more likely to suffer from skin infections. Skin infections can be uncomfortable especially for children. However, they can be easily treated either with an anti-fungal medication or by treatment from a doctor.

Ringworm is a common type of fungal infection that often manifests itself in the scalp or on the skin of the person infected. Its name does not come from a worm but because the rash on the skin is a small ring or circular shape and some say that it looks as though there’s a worm under the skin.

The sores may present themselves as being small, circular and red sores on the skin which may also become scaly or flaky. They are often irritated and if they occur on the scalp they may result in hair falling out of the affected area. The patches are red and itchy and they may either be raised or flat. Less commonly, these sores may become inflamed and ooze fluid. This infection may also result in swollen lymph glands on the back of the person’s head. Ringworm may also cause an infection in the fingernails or toenails. If this happens, the nails on the affected areas might become thick and brittle.

Ringworm Related infectionsTreating ringworm is quite easy to do and it is also quite easy to diagnose. Doctors can usually recognize it by looking at it or they may test some of the skin for fungus. Doctors usually recommend some type of anti-fungal medication in the form of an ointment, lotion, cream or powder however when the infection lies deep in the skin doctors may offer an oral medication with anti-fungal properties. All treatments showed be taken as directed or prescribed even if it seems the rash is clearing up prematurely.

Doctors may also recommended anti-fungal soaps and shampoos to prevent further spread of the tinea spores. This is especially important for children of school age to prevent fungal infections from running rampant through schools and day care centers.

Preventing ringworm can be difficult in children but  it is not impossible. Because ringworm often spreads through skin cells or hair, it is important to prevent children from sharing personal items like brushes, combs, hats and pillows with each other.

Making sure that children wear clean and dry clothes to school can also stop children from bringing infectious diseases from their homes into schools. Ringworm may be spread from barber’s tools or from shared tools in the classroom but this is why it is very important to teach children to wash their hands thoroughly.

The Anti-Ringworm Diet

How To Treat And Prevent Ringworm With Your Diet

If someone told you that changing your diet to get rid of ringworm was an option, you may think this was impossible. However, ringworm is actually caused by a fungus, not a parasite, and nutritional changes have been shown to be very effective in helping your body fight off fungal infections – and even treat them!
If you are concerned you have ringworm, inspect the lesion to see if it has the following characteristics. The rash will be round, have raised edges, will itch and may even become crusty or ooze. If it’s on your scalp, you will notice bald patches forming. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis by taking a skin sample to inspect more closely and will most likely prescribe and anti-fungal treatment. You can support this treatment by making the following changes to your diet, and it will help prevent the infection recurring.

How To Treat And Prevent Ringworm With Your DietIf your immune system is compromised, or you are rundown, you are more susceptible to getting a ringworm infection. This is where a healthy, balanced diet can really make a difference. By adding more ingredients like carrots, spinach, hot peppers and kale to your diet you will help your body produce vitamin A.

Your body can produce vitamin A when you add vegetables that are carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, to your diet. This will help with the repair of skin tissues and may assist in the prevention of scars forming as your skin heals from the fungal infection. An easy way to ensure you are getting a mix of the right kinds of vegetables is to look at your shopping trolley and see if you have a “rainbow” of veggies – the more colours of vegetables, the more nutrient-rich your diet will be.

Eggs, dairy products, liver, fish and beef are also rich in vitamin A, which boosts your immune system and will support your body to destroy the fungus in your body. Also consider taking a daily multivitamin and a probiotic to introduce healthy bacteria enter your gut.

How To Treat And Prevent Ringworm With Your DietNatural medicine practitioners also believe that fungal infections (including ringworm) thrive on certain foods. These are foods that are high in sugar (baked goods, sweets, and even fruit), pasta and white rice (refined carbohydrates), breads and dried fruits. They propose that you remove these items from your diet, and limit your fruits to two a day. Consider doing this for a period of three months to see if this has a difference to the frequency of your ringworm infections.

More diet changes that may help include the following:

* Drink a small glass of warm water with lemon squeezed into it every morning which will help alkalise your system, making it less habitable for fungi.

* Apple cider vinegar can also help restore the balance to your gut and skin. This is thought to have a positive effect on the pH balance of your body.

* Garlic and onions both have anti-fungal properties, so add these to dishes as much as you can. Garlic also has natural antibiotic properties which will promote healing.