What is Ringworm?

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2013)

When most people are asked the question "What is ringworm" the answer that they give is usually not the correct one. Typically the answer that people will give is that ringworm is a type of parasite that can infect you, and cause you to be mildly sick. The truth of the matter is that ringworm is much different than that. To truly understand about what ringworm is, here is some helpful information about ringworm, its symptoms, and even possible treatments.

  • What is it? The fact of the matter is that ringworm of the skin is, despite the name, a fungus. This means that it is not a parasite, but rather a fungal infection. When this infection appears on the skin it will usually take on a ring-like appearance, hence the name.
  • Symptoms. As was alluded to earlier, one of the most common symptoms for this fungal infection is an extremely itchy rash that often (but not always) shows up as a rash. Most often this fungal infection will appear in the folds of the skin, such as those found in the groin, breast, waist, or under the arms.
  • Cause. Since ringworm is basically a fungus it typically likes, and even thrives, on dark moist areas and regions of the body. That being said, there are some instances where particularly bad strains can spread to other areas of the body. One of the best ways that you can prevent ringworm from spreading is by using basic hygiene techniques, not sharing clothes, wearing sandals or slippers in the shower, and so on.
  • Treatment. Ringworm in all of its forms can be treated, often through commercially generated antifungal creams. Most of these creams you can purchase at your local grocery store or pharmacy, and you don't need a prescription to do so. Simply follow the directions on the package for proper application and usage directions. If ringworm is not treated properly, or early enough, then it can blister the skin and create sores which can then become infected to the point of needing antibacterial medicine.

Keep in mind that while this information can be helpful, it should never replace the advice of a certified doctor. This means that if you think that you have ringworm you should visit with a doctor as soon as possible. In fact, go and visit your personal doctor, and if they confirm you have ringworm, go see a dermatologist as quickly as possible for further treatment.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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