Ringworm is a ring-shaped, circular rash or fungal infection caused by various species of fungi such as Trichophyton and Epidermophyton. It is also commonly termed as Dermatophytosis, and is also referred by other names depending upon the location of its presence – athlete’s foot for the foot and jock itch for the groin.
Having an incubation period of anywhere between four days to a couple of weeks, ringworm is a highly contagious infection and can be transferred as a result of direct contact with an infected human, object, animal or soil. It can cause itching, redness, irritation, and the fungi can survive for long durations in warm, moist conditions such as gym locker rooms, public swimming pools, etc.
As long as ringworm is left untreated, it continues to be contagious and carries the risk of infecting the people around. You should consult your dermatologist the moment you notice any reddish, circular patches on your skin. The doctor will prescribe you a topical fungal cream, skin infection cream or the best antifungal cream which can be highly effective treatment for ringworm.
Once the ringworm treatment has begun, the lesions will start disappearing and the infection will stop being contagious within 24-48 hours. Normally, the medications prescribed by the doctor will work as an effective remedy for itchy skin and it can take approximately three to four weeks to get rid of ringworm completely.
However, keeping the below-mentioned points in mind will help you prevent the spread of ringworm:
- Regularly taking your pets to the veterinary doctor for the diagnosis of ringworm.
- Not sharing the bedding, clothing, or brushes of an infected person until he/she is free from infection.
- Taking a shower immediately after a workout session, swimming, etc. and thoroughly drying yourself with a clean towel.
- Wearing slippers in public toilets, locker rooms, and washing your hands properly after touching any infected area.
While some of the best over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams, ointments can help you get rid of ringworm, maintaining a hygienic daily routine can be highly influential in preventing the spread of infection in the first place.