Suddenly you notice that your nails are yellowish, peeling, or when you take off your shoe you feel a sting under some finger and when you look you see that you are hurt. All of this is a consequence of something very common: Fungi, the person responsible for ringworm.
These pets that are invisible to the naked eye, can be in various places, such as in the pool, pets, on the beach, or in other objects that are shared, and they proliferate more easily in the summer, the hottest and wetest period of the year. year, time most susceptible to ringworm.
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a common skin disease, also known as tinea or dermatophytosis . It is caused by more than 100 species of fungi that can live on the skin, surfaces such as changing rooms and household items such as towels, bedding and clothing.
Causes of Ringworm
Although the world is full of microorganisms, only a few cause skin problems. Ringworm fungi are known as dermatophytes , microorganisms that feed on the dead tissues of the skin, hair and nails. Dermatophytes cause infections on the skin surface.
Ringworm can be spread in the following ways:
- Human to human – Ringworm usually spreads by direct skin contact with an infected person.
- Animal to human – It is possible to contract ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm. Especially dogs or cats, but it is also quite common in cows.
- Object for human – Ringworm can spread through contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or animal has
recently touched or rubbed, such as clothes, towels, bedding and sheets, combs and brushes.
- Soil for humans – In rare cases, ringworm can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected soil. The infection would probably occur only through prolonged contact with highly infected soil.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm usually begins as a flat, red, scaly area on the skin that can itch a lot. This area develops a slightly raised border that expands outward as it grows, forming circular patches (known as impinge ). The contours of these spots can be quite uneven.
The interior of the stain can be light, scaly or marked with a scattering of red dots. In some people, several spots develop at the same time and can overlap.
Types of Ringworm
It is important to understand that the various types of ringworm do not refer to different species of fungi, but to species that cause different forms of ringworm. Although there are multiple forms, the most common ones affect:
Mycosis of Corpo (Body moth)
This type refers to ringworm of the trunk, legs or arms. Although children are especially susceptible to the development of ringworm, it can also affect adults.
Acute and Chronic Ringworm of the Body
The ringworm of the body can be acute or chronic. When acute, the fungus suddenly causes red spots that can be filled with pus and spread quickly.
When chronic, ringworm spreads slowly and tends to appear in the folds. Chronic ringworm is more difficult to treat and is more likely to reappear over time. With treatment, it usually subsides within four weeks. It is good to avoid scratches as they can lead to infection of the skin.
Nail Fungus (Tinea Unguium)
Nail ringworm is usually caused by one of two fungi: Trichophyton rubrum or T. interdigitale . Although it can refer to fungal infection of the nails in general, those of the feet are much more likely to contract this disease.
Those most susceptible to ringworm of the nails include men, older adults, diabetics, people with peripheral vascular disease or anyone with a compromised immune system .
Some of the symptoms of nail ringworm include:
- Yellow, brown or otherwise discolored nails,
- Hard nails
- Brittle nails,
- Thick nails
Without proper treatment, a nail infected with this yeast infection is at risk of falling.
Scalp Ringworm (Tinea Capitis)
This type of ringworm is more common in children between the ages of 3 and 7 years , and less common in adults. The hair itself can be infected by various ringworm fungi, which can be spread by cattle, horses, pigs, dogs and cats (especially cats).
Some of the symptoms of ringworm on the scalp include:
- Dandruff-like scaling that accompanies hair loss
- Yellow scabs and matted hair
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck
- Smooth place where the hair fell
- Intensely inflamed mass similar to an abscess.
Ringworm of the Foot (Tinea Pedis, athlete’s foot)
This is the most common form of ringworm in humans and also the most difficult to treat. Ringworm of the foot is more common in men and can appear with several different types of symptoms, including:
- Scaling on the soles of the feet,
- Blisters on the sides of the feet,
- Round, dry spots on the instep,
- Dry soles that are not inflamed
- Moisture and scaling of the skin between the toes (athlete’s foot)
The athlete’s foot can cause a painful break in the skin (known as chilblains), and can cause an unpleasant smell. Symptoms of athlete’s foot may not be caused by ringworm. They can also be caused by:
- Bacterial infections,
- Mold infections
- Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema,
- Friction due to fingers pressing against each other.
Athletes are more likely to get this type of ringworm because they are in many risk categories for this infection, including:
- Shoes with poor ventilation,
- Excessive sweat
- Feet wet for long periods
- Walk through common areas such as changing rooms and showers.
How is Ringworm Diagnosed?
Some forms of ringworm are easier to detect than others. The telltale signs are the red, raised rings that can alert the doctor to the infection, which makes the diagnosis simple.
At other times, however, ringworm can be difficult to diagnose. Certain types of ringworm are particularly resistant to diagnosis, such as ringworm of the face and hands.
In these cases, the fungus can cause infections that resemble many other common skin diseases. If a dermatologist has trouble diagnosing ringworm, a small scraping of the skin is usually done. This sample can then be analyzed in the laboratory to confirm what caused the infection in the first place.
Fungal diseases such as ringworm are more difficult to treat than bacterial infection. That’s because fungi have more complicated cells and more like ours. This hampers the development of antifungal drugs that can kill the fungus without harming the patient’s health .
As a result, long-term topical and oral treatments are necessary, and may not be 100% effective. Even after the infection appears to have disappeared, once the ringworm appears, it is more likely to recur .
To treat ringworm, topical creams, ointments or lotions can be used and, in some cases, the use of oral medications, when prescribed by the doctor.
The treatment time can vary from 30 to 60 days (on the hands) and approximately 1 year on the feet, and it is important that the patient does not abandon the treatment before the doctor’s release, as it is normal for the symptoms to disappear before complete remission. of the disease.
How is Ringworm Prevention Done?
Ringworm is quite difficult to prevent as the causative fungus is common and contagious. You can reduce your risk by taking the following precautions:
- Educate yourself – Know the risk of contracting ringworm from infected people or pets. Tell your children about ringworm, what to watch for and how to avoid infection.
- Maintain hygiene – Wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the infection from spreading. Keep common or shared areas clean, especially in schools, day care centers, gymnasiums and changing rooms.
- Stay cool and dry – Do not wear thick clothing for long periods in hot, humid weather. Avoid excessive sweating.
- Avoid infected animals – In the animal, the infection usually looks like a piece of skin where hair is missing. In some cases, however, it is not possible to notice any signs of the disease. Ask the vet to check if your pets have ringworm.
- Don’t share personal items – Don’t let others use your clothes, towels, hairbrushes, or other personal items. Refrain from borrowing from these and other products as well.
See also: Black Skin Care
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.