Ring worms, also spelled “ringworms,” are human parasites. Often referred to as “circle worms,” these human parasites (and many others) are often misunderstood. Some people refer to human parasites as “belly worms” and some people even believe that belly worms actually live in the belly button. They also believe that ring worms are actual worms. Neither is true. The truth is, belly worms do not live in the belly button. They live deep inside the stomach and the intestines of humans and animals. The words “ring worms” are very misleading mainly because ring worms are not actual “worms.” Ring worms is a fungal disease of the skin and hair. People refer to ring worms as “circle worms” because of the circle shape that it forms on the skin.
There are literally dozens of different types of human parasites and 3,200 different varieties of parasites overall, and even more disturbing is more than 100 different types can be living inside human bodies at any given time. Some cannot be seen with the naked eye and others are obvious. Human parasites can be found in foods, water and air. Simply put, parasites can be found just about anywhere in our environment. Parasites can also enter the human body through insect bites, such as mosquito bites and they can also be transmitted through sexual contact or even through the nose and skin.
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The 3,200 different types of parasites belong to four major categories: Cestoda, Nematoda, Protozoa, and Trematoda. Cestodes are tapeworms and Nematodes are roundworms (hookworms, whipworms, pinworms, heartworms). Protozoa are single cell parasites that infect the intestines and colon, and Trematodes or “flukes” include flatworms and bladder, blood, intestinal, kidney, liver, and lung flukes.
Human parasites can cause dozens of different problems in human systems from allergies and asthma to inflammation and immune system deficiency. You can prevent human parasites 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.
Ring worm 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.
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Ring worms can be treated fairly easy with medicated shampoos, prescription creams or oral medications. Symptoms typically disappear within four weeks of treatment. Other human parasites such as tapeworms and flukes are typically treated with oral medications that are toxic to the worms. These medications may include: Praziquantel (Biltricide), Albendazole (Albenza) or Niclosamide. Niclosamide is not available in the United States. These medications may be taken for several weeks or months to kill the parasites in your system. The success rate is more than 95% when medications are taken as directed.