Treating Ringworm in Different Ways!

Dermatophytosis, also known as ringworm, is a prevalent fungal infection that affects twenty percent of the population today. The infection of ringworm is often seen in humans as well as domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, cattle and sheep. In earlier times, treating ringworm includes applying mercury compounds or iodine on the skin. Difficult spots such as the hairy areas of the skin were treated using x-ray procedure before anti-parasitic treatment. In current times, the treatment of ringworm has evolved into a simpler but efficient way. Science has provided different ways to eliminate ringworm from the skin.

The development of ringworm brings closer focus to dermatophytes, the fungi that cause the infection. Once dermatophytes come in contact with the skin, nails or hair shafts the outbreak will begin. Since dermatophytes feed on keratin that is present in skin, hair and nails, the fungi is likely to thrive on this area especially in the outer skin layer that is often warm and moist. There are times when ringworm is misdiagnosed as pityriasis rosea, which is a similar infection when it comes to physical symptoms. Treating ringworm diagnosed as pityriasis rosea can result to a condition called tinea incognito, a problematic growth of fungus devoid of common traits such as a distinguishing raised border.

Ringworm is closely associated with other fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and jock itch. These fungal infections, which are often seen in adults, are not a matter of grave concern but can become a source of irritation and discomfort if not treated quickly. They say that prevention is a better option than treating ringworm so there are things or activities that are advised to keep away from catching this fungal infection. For instance, sharing clothing, sports gear or towels are not advisable. Walking in the sand barefoot and touching pets with bald spots should be avoided so as not to get infected. Furthermore, wash hands with antibacterial soap after being exposed to places that are likely to be breeding grounds for dermatophytes such as tanning beds and swimming pools.

The treatment of ringworm can be topical or oral. In topical treatments, antifungal topical drug that can be bought over the counter can be applied on the infected area twice a day until the symptoms are gone. Doctors recommend the continued use of topical agents up to seven days after the symptoms are resolved. Some of these topical agents are Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, Ketoconazole, Tolnaftate and Miconazole. Treating ringworm that has infected the scalp can be done by taking oral medications. Lesions caused by ringworm should not be touched.

Home remedies have also been found effective in the treatment of ringworm. One of which is rubbing a slice of papaya fruit on the ringworm-affected spots. Alternately, a paste derived from dried papaya seeds are also considered effective in eliminating ringworm. Applying coconut oil on the affected areas is also known to cure ringworm. In treating ringworm, one can take the route of over-the-counter or prescription drugs or the route of home remedies. It is always best to consult the physician so you can discuss your options.