Ringworm, also spelled “ring worm,” is a fungal disease. Often referred to as “circle worm,” ring worm lives deep inside the stomach and the intestines of humans and animals. The word “ringworm” is very misleading mainly because ringworm is not an actual worm. This fungal forms a circle shape on the skin, hence the name, “ringworm.”
Ringworm comes from dermatophytes or microscopic organisms. The organisms consume the dead outer layers of the skin. The fungus also grows on the hair and nails. On the skin, it can look like the infected person has a worm growing underneath the skin. The worm takes the shape of a ring, hence the name ringworm. Other symptoms of ringworm include sores, itching, and reddened skin. Ringworm can appear on any area of the skin, even the groin area or the feet.
Ringworm, like all fungal disease or parasites, can cause dozens of different problems in human systems from allergies and asthma to inflammation and immune system deficiency. You can prevent ringworm by cooking foods thoroughly, drinking pure water, washing all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and washing your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom, handling pets or changing diapers.
There are a number of different treatments for ringworm, but the treatment type will depend on how mild or severe the case of ringworm is. It will also depend on where the ringworm is located on the body. Depending on the location and severity of the infection, your physician may prescribe a remedy that is as mild as an over-the-counter medicated shampoo or as powerful as a round of potent antibiotic pills. Fortunately, ringworm can be treated fairly easy with most medicated shampoos or oral medications, as well a number of prescription creams. When using most types of ringworm treatment options, symptoms typically disappear within four weeks of treatment.
Topical ringworm treatment options include: Cruex cream, Desenex cream, Lotrimin cream, lotion, and solution), miconazole (Monistat-Derm cream), ketoconazole (Nizoral cream), and terbinafine (Lamisil cream and solution). Many of these treatment options are effective for foot fungus as well.
Oral ringworm treatment options include: griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grifulvin, and Gris-PEG), terbinafine, itraconazole (Sporanox), and fluconazole (Diflucan). When used properly, these teatment options are not bad for the liver as many people might believe they are.
Effective medicated shampoos include: Selsun Blue or anti-fungal shampoos that contain ketoconazole 2% (Nizoral) or the newer ciclopriox.
If you have suspect that you have ringworm, contact your doctor or dermatologist immediately for treatment.