Ringworm is a contagious skin infection that is far more widespread than previously understood. Fortunately, because of its ubiquity, ringworm diagnosis is a straightforward procedure. Recognition and remedies are just as straightforward if you know what the symptoms of ringworm are.
As noted before the word "Ringworm," is very misleading. The early signs of red rings or flaking patches of skin are, of course, not due to parasitic worms. Instead, Ringworm is caused by microscopic skin fungi that are related to the same fungus as Jock Itch or Athlete's Foot. This fungi feed on the cells of the skin and rapidly reproduce as they proceed to feed on new skin cells. This feeding/reproduction process is what causes the red rings and severe itchiness. This inflammation on the cellular level is your skins first response to the infection.
How to spot the first ringworm symptom
Identifying ringworm can be rather easy. When looking directly at the infected area, do you notice a red patch with a circular or oblong shape? Remember, the innermost part of the rash will have a consistent color and texture. The perimeter of the outbreak or, "ring" will tend to be darker (red), dry or flaky. The outside edge of this rash can look like a thin line. Peeling dead skin will emerge as more extensive, sizeable red rash.
The unique “Ring-like” look of the Ringworm infection is due to the way the ringworm fungus grows. It starts out as a minute centralized rash on the skin, and as the fungus feeds on the skin cells, it radiates outwards in the direction of new feeding territory. As the original starting point of the infection heals, and the fungi continue on their outward journey, the patch of skin in the center of the ring leaves tell-tale signs of the previous feeding frenzy.
Ringworm Symptoms in Humans
Ringworm, Jock itch and Athlete's Foot are highly contagious. Dispersion Ringworm contamination throughout the body occurs through individual-to-individual and individual-to-animal contact. Sharing personal hygiene items (combs, apparel, etc.) or direct skin-to-skin transference (i.e., petting a dog or cat)are the most common ways. Fortunately, simple remedies will work and once the rash starts to fade they are no longer contagious.
Once determined that Ringworm is the culprit start the healing process with simple antifungal ingredients.
There are Ringworm-specific ointments as there are for Athlete's Foot and Jock-Itch.
Use caution when purchasing separate remedy products for Ringworm, Jock Itch or Athletes Foot. They have as a constituent the same fungi family. With proper care ringworm, symptoms will fade and clear up within two to four weeks. However, if after administering a remedy for two weeks, there is no respite from the signs or new symptoms emerge, or the rash is worsening notify your medical practitioner because the infection may require professional medical care.
To prevent yourself and others from contacting ringworm, take steps that you would help you avoid fungal skin infections. Thorough cleaning and drying of the skin and scalp are vital for stopping skin infections. Avoid sharing clothing, equipment, and personal hygiene items.