Ringworm and How To Recognize It

Ringworm is simply an infection caused by a fungus.


No, it’s not a type of parasite, although it’s just as unwelcome.

“Jock itch” is a form of


that causes an itchy rash on the skin of your groin area. Common in men more than in women.

Jock itch


can be caused by the spread of athlete’s foot fungus to the groin area.

What really causes ringworm?

Ringworm is caused by a fungus only. Ringworm is not caused by a worm.

The kinds of fungi that cause ringworm, live and spread on the top layer of the skin and on the hair.

They grow best in warm, moist areas, like our skin folds, locker rooms and swimming pools.

Ringworm IS contagious. Skin-to-skin contact with a person or animal that has it, will cause another to be infected.

It can also spread when you share towels, clothing, or sports gear.

Rarely, you can get ringworm by touching an infected dog or cat, but this form of ringworm is not common.

What are the symptoms of a ringworm attack?

Ringworm causes a very itchy rash. It usually makes a pattern in the shape of a ringcamera. But sometimes it’s just a red, itchy rash.

Jock itch is a rash in the skin folds of the groin and may also spread to the inner thighs or buttocks.

Ringworm on the hand looks like athlete’s foot. The skin gets thick, dry, and scaly. Skin between the fingers may be moist and have open sores.

Ringworm of the skin is diagnosed by inspection and looking under a microscope.

If you have a ring-shaped rash, you most likely have ringworm. Your doctor will be able to tell for sure by scraping the rash and viewing under a microscope, to check for the ringworm fungus.

Most ringworm of the skin can be treated at home with creams you can buy without a prescription.

If if your rash clears up soon after you start treatment, it’s important to keep using the cream for as long as you’re suppose to. This will help keep the ringworm from coming back.

If the cream doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe pills that will kill the fungus.


The ringworm should be treated right away, otherwise, your skin could blister, and the cracks could become infected with bacteria.

If this happens, you’ll need antibiotics. And you don’t want to take antibiotics if you don’t have to.

If your child is being treated for ringworm, you don’t have to keep him or her out of school or day care.

How can I prevent ringworm?

Don’t share clothing, sports gear, towels, or sheets. (wash your clothes in hot water with special anti-fungus soap if you think you’ve been exposed)
Wear slippers or sandals in locker rooms and public bathing areas
Shower and shampoo well after any sport that includes skin-to-skin contact
Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing (change your socks and underwear at least once a day)
Keep your skin clean and dry. (always dry yourself completely after showers or baths, drying your feet last)
If you have athlete’s foot, put your socks on before your underwear so that fungi do not spread from your feet to your groin
Take your pet to the vet if it has patches of missing hair, which could be a sign of a fungal infection

If you or someone in your family has symptoms, it’s important to treat ringworm right away, to keep other family members from getting it.

About Scalp Ringworm:

Scalp Ringworm is a different kind of fungal infection which is much more serious. It is most commonly found in humans and pet animals like cats, dogs and cattle.

You can become infected by hair contact or by sharing accessories like hats, comb, bedding, barber’s instruments etc.

Doctors usually recommend shampoos containing ketoconazole (Nizoralicon), pyrithione zinc (Selsun Salonicon) or selenium sulfide (Selsun Blueicon) twice a week.

Or your doctor may prescribe some oral medicines, since they are more effective than shampoos.

There are several home remedies to treat ringworm on the body and face.


Try these ringworm home remedies:

*Soak a cloth or paper towel in natural apple cider vinegar and apply it on the ringworm patch for about 15 minutes, several times a day.
*Rub some slices of raw papaya on the ringworm patches. (A paste made of dried papaya seeds can also be applied on the ringworm patches.)
*A paste of mustard seeds should be applied over the patches after washing the skin with hot water.
*Make a paste of butea seeds and mix with a little lime juice. Apply the paste on the affected skin.
*Cassia leaves are known to eliminate the pain and swelling associated with ringworm. The juice of cassia leaves or a paste can be applied on the patches.
*The leaves of holy basil are also useful for treating ringworm. Extract the juice and apply on the patches.
*Take 1-2 pieces of garlic and mash them in an small sheet of aluminum foil. Take the sheet with mashed garlic and apply it on the ringworm patch. Do this two times a day. It might sting, but the ringworm will be gone in less than a week.
*Turmeric is also very effective for ringworm. Apply the juice of raw turmeric on the infected parts. (And you can even take a mixture of turmeric juice and honey orally.)
*Raw vegetable juices, like carrot juice mixed with spinach juice, consumed is also beneficial for ringworm.
*Use bath salt from a drug store, which has high concentration of sea salt in it. Wet the infected parts and apply the sea salt scrub directly on the ringworm. There may be mild tingling, but it won’t irritate a lot. Leave the salt for about 25-30 minutes and then wash off. Re-apply it after some time. Mist the infected part with water to moisten the skin and re-wet the salt. Ringworm will be gone in a few days.
*You can also apply iodine on the ringworm patch. Apply it for a few days till the ringworm is gone.
*Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is also very good for treating ringworm. Rub some extract on the patches, and put a band-aid over it. Full strength extract of grapefruit will irritate the skin slightly, but is a quick remedy for getting rid of ringworm.
*Tea tree oil also works wonders for ringworm. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil on the affected region every day. If it itches, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with some mild oil like coconut or olive oil.

WARNING: Never use peppermint oil on kids. For babies aged up to 12 months, mix a drop of Lavender Essential Oil in a teaspoon of Jojoba Carrier Oil and apply on skin.


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