Ringworm is a misnomer because it is an infection caused by fungus not by a worm. Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus depending on their location on the body. It is characterized by ring-shaped red, scaly patches with clearing centers. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, feet, nails, and groin.
Causes of ringworm:
Infection is caused by different species of dermatophytes, skin fungi, though most common are Trichophyton and Microsporum. This fungus feeds on the dead layer of the skin or keratin like hair and nails and survives on warm and moist area of the skin.
It can be passed through contact with contaminated items such as a brush, hat, towel, unwashed clothing, and pool or shower surfaces.
Certain conditions increase the risk of spreading the fungi (more than one fungus) that cause ringworm. These include dampness, humidity, and dirty, crowded living conditions.
In rare cases, the causes of ringworm infection can be attributed to contact with infected soil.
Adults can become carriers of scalp ringworm without developing any symptoms. This is because usually by the time you reach adulthood, your body has developed a defense against the infection. However, if you are a carrier of a ringworm infection, you can pass the condition on to you children, who may then go on to develop symptoms. Ringworm symptoms on the body usually appear 4-10 days after exposure. Scalp symptoms will appear in 10-14 days.
- Red, eminent, swiftly mounting, ring like sore on the skin
- Sore itself may contain crust, scales, or fluid-containing areas
- Itching and pain in that area