What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungus that affects a person’s body. Millions of people are infected by this fungus every year. Ringworm is not life threatening but it can cause severe discomfort if it is not treated. By the way, the ringworm fungus is not a worm or any other type of parasite that grows in the body. This is strictly a viral condition. Ringworm’s name is derived from the ring like pattern that forms on a person’s skin once they catch this condition. The information presented here will provide a further description of ringworm and what this condition does to the body.
When a person ends up getting ringworm the condition causes severe itchiness. Ringworm develops by staring as a little red itchy bump that resembles a pimple. It eventually grows into multiple solid circles on the skin. The initial size of ringworm is about as big as a quarter. Sometimes this ailment can look lie a pimple.
Ringworm causes the skin to appear red and scaly along the outer part of the ring. The center of the ring is often pale in color. A person can develop ringworm on their scalp, in their crotch area and on their foot. By the way jock itch is a form of ringworm and so is the condition athlete’s foot. The formal name of ringworm is tinea.
Once again, ringworm won’t kill a person but there are serious cases of this disease. You can view these cases on http://images.google.ca/images?=ringworm&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search. Just be mindful of the pictures because they will probably make you shudder! Just remember that tinea formations start small before they fully develop. So, you should be cautious of any itchy red area that starts to develop on your body.
Just remember to take ringworm seriously. It might not seem like a big deal, but this ailment is very contagious. Once you or any other person gets infected with tinea it could spread uncontrollably. People will have to take strict measures to ensure that tinea doesn’t stay around for very long. This viral infection can be contagious to the point where it can shut down local health clubs and gyms.
You probably don’t realize this but there is normally a 1 to 2 weeks incubation period between exposure and infection. Ringworm spores are very strong. They can survive on different surfaces for a very long time. Their resiliency causes them to stick around longer than they should. Some people are asymptomatic carriers because they don’t know have this problem. An asymptomatic person can spread the infection without realizing what they are doing to others This makes it very hard to keep disease under control.
You might be the type of person that isn’t phased by a condition such as ringworm. However, you should be mindful of this infection. You should never want to pass ringworm (or any other type of condition) to another person. This is especially true if you attend a busy gym, train with other athletes, or come into contact with family members. You also don’t want to pass it on to other individuals. Just keep in mind that children are very prone to ringworm. The medication used to treat ringworm in kids takes about 6 weeks to work and it could cause them serious side effects. This is just one reason why you should be careful with tinea.
Steps to Take if you Have Ringworm:
First, you should stay off the mat, out of the gym and don’t compete in matches. You should also limit your exposure to others. This is difficult for many athletes and even regular people to do. However, you should stay away from people to ensure that you don’t spread tinea around. If you can catch ringworm early, it can take up to a week to treat. However, if you wait longer – it could take more time.
Never cover up an infected site just so you can be around people or compete. Putting tape over ringworm or covering it with a bandage is not a good thing. You are actually setting people up to catch ringworm. Remember, people can see when others are constantly itching. They might not notice it right away, but eventually somebody will catch on. Also, you can spread the spores to others even though they are covered up and hidden. Remember, to stay off the mats and make sure that you are limit your exposure to people until you are healed.
Sometimes, you might not notice every single sore. So, you should be careful about where and how you scratch. You can treat this infection with an antifungal cream. There are many over the counter antifungal gels and creams for people to use. One brand is known as Lamisil and it is one of the best ringworm treatment remedies on the market. However, a person will need a doctor’s prescription to for this treatment option.
Other treatment options include tolnaflate, clotrimazole and even ketoconazole. These medications can suppress the ailment and reduce inflammation. However, they might not kill the fungus. If you need stronger anti-fungal treatment you will have to get a prescription strength remedy. Oral medications are often taken for sever or stubborn tinea outbreaks. Just remember that the more potent tinea medications can be hard on your liver. Make sure you take them with care for a limited time.
Keep applying topical medication to the infected area. Do this for at least 2 weeks and you should also do it one week after your infection has cleared up. Remember, ringworm can seem like it has cleared up, but the virus can remain dormant before coming back again. This is why the additional week is important. You should also make sue that you take all of the medication to ensure that you have been properly healed.
You should also change your bedding every couple of days and do not share towels with anyone. You shouldn’t share a towel with a spouse, significant other or teammate. Don’t use the same towel every day while you have ringworm. Use a different towel to make sure that you don’t re-infect yourself. You shouldn’t wear the same sports undergarments for more than one day. Frequently change and wash them while you’re infected with ringworm. Also, wash any clothing that you wear for once a week.
Control Ringworm in your Gym or Workout Center
Wash and disinfect equipment. Make sure you clean the locker room areas and the bathrooms. Clean mats, floors and walls. Clean sauna areas and other places where funguses can easily grow. If you notice someone has ringworm inform your coach and don’t train with them. If you notice a player on an opposing team with tinea inform the referees to stop the game to remove the infected player.
People shouldn’t walk on certain parts of a gym in their street shoes. The ringworm virus is often transported on many people’s shoe soles. Funguses can also enter a person’s body through abrasions and scratches. This makes it easier for people to transmit it to one another. Shower after practice, use an anti-dandruff shampoos use bodywash over soap bars. Do this until the ringworm is gone. You can even use Nizoral shampoo it is another strong anti-fungal/anti-dandruff shampoo. Dermatologists warn ringworm patients to watch gym equipment and mats, so they don’t pick up any infectious diseases. You should also clean and sanitize any equipment that you might use. You can also find out more information about ringworm on sites such as BC Wrestling, NLM.NIH, LUHS and the Victoria Government Health site.