Ringworm is a common skin disorder that especially affects children, although it can occur in people of any age as it is highly contagious. This term encompasses different skin infections caused by fungi such as athlete's foot, which affects the foot and is usually transmitted in humid areas such as swimming pools, jock itch, which appears in the groin area, and ringworm of the body, which affects to the arms, legs, chest and scalp.
Ringworm in its various forms is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that live in dead tissue on the skin, hair, and nails. Ringworm occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on the skin, scalp, or nails.
This disease can be spread from person to person through direct contact with the skin or with contaminated objects such as combs, unwashed clothing, and surfaces in showers and swimming pools. Ringworm can also be acquired by contact with pets that carry the fungus, such as dogs and cats, although the latter are the most common carriers. The fungi that cause ringworm multiply easily in warm, humid areas. The risk of ringworm increases with prolonged humidity of the skin, for example, in the case of sweaty feet and armpits, and minor injuries to the skin, scalp and nails.
Ringworm usually affects the skin, but also the scalp and nails.
1. On the skin. An itchy, circular skin rash with red, raised, scaly patches may appear. These patches can evolve to form blisters that, at times, come to ooze. These patches often have very sharp edges and are often redder around the outside with a normal skin tone in the center, which can lead to a ring-like appearance. Also, the skin may have an unusual light or dark appearance. Specifically, when ringworm affects the foot, it is called 'athlete's foot'. In these cases, the patches come out between the toes and often peel off.
2. On the scalp. When the patches appear on the head, they appear bald because in the place where the patches appear, hair is lost. It can start with a pimple, similar to a pimple, and end up spreading over a larger area resulting in clumpy hair loss. The area may become painful and tender to the touch.
3. In the nails. They become discolored, white or yellowish, thick and even split. It can affect one or all nails on the hands or feet.
Marisol New. Editor of our site
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