What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin which usually affects the scalp, toenails and feet. It is not actually caused by a kind of worm – as its name suggests. It is called Ringworm because the infection often appears as a round shape or ring.
Ringworm can appear on the:
Symptoms of ringworm are scaly red, ring or oval-shaped flaky patches which appear on the skin. They spread from the centre outwards and are usually itchy, tender and painful. The infected areas can also have a slightly raised edge.
Where nails are infected, they can become discoloured and thickened, and scaling skin around the infected area can occur. The nails may also crumble over time.
In the scalp area, hair may be lost inside the ringworm patches with bald circular areas appearing (this can also occur in the beard area). There may be several itchy patches, which can range from a few millimetres to up to 5 centimetres in size.
Anyone can develop ringworm. It is mostly caused by a group of fungi (plant-like organisms) called dermotophytes which can be picked up from another person, a domestic animal, soil, and even things like household objects which humans and pets that are infected with ringworm have come into contact with, such as: towels, bed linen, clothing and hairbrushes.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from ringworm or any other kind of fungal infection, seek the advice of your GP. After taking your medical history into account, he or she will then carry out a physical examination of the infected area/s and ask you relevant questions about any other associated symptoms. A small piece of the infected area may be removed for testing and examination under a microscope. However, to avoid waiting time, your GP will probably start you on a course of treatment immediately.
Treatments for ringworm include:
Anti-fungal tablets and creams
Anti-fungal nail paints and tablets
These can be bought as over-the-counter products.
Where these prove ineffective, your GP will prescribe a stronger course of treatment such as drugs like imidazoles or terbinafine. Where the infected area is particular severe, you may be prescribed topical corticosteroid which is applied to the skin to soothe the soreness.
To prevent ringworm developing or recurring, always:
Dry yourself thoroughly with a clean, dry towel after bathing and washing
Avoid sharing towels
Wash bedding and nightclothes frequently
Change underwear and socks daily
How Chemist Online can help
Through this website we have a range of anti-fungal products available to buy that provide effective relief from the itching, burning and soreness associated with skin conditions like ringworm, such as: Mycil Ointment and Lamisil Athletes Foot Spray which is particularly effective at relieving itching and soreness in the groin area.
This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.
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