It is important to note that ringworm is a typical fungal infection that can cause reddish or silver ring-link rash on the skin. Ringworm typically affects the legs and arms but can manifest on almost any part of the body. Other similar fungal infections can affect the feet, scalp, nails and groin.
These fungal infections are medically called as “tinea” and not considered serious and easily managed. Nevertheless, they are highly contagious and spread easily.
Close look on tinea fungal infections
There are various forms of tinea fungal infection depending on the involved body part:
- Ringworm affects the body
- Fungal nail infection
- Tinea capitis affects the scalp
- Jock itch affects the groin
- Athlete’s foot affects the feet
Ringworm typically appears as red, round or silvery skin patch that can be inflamed, scaly and itchy but other fungal infections appear slightly different.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor should be consulted if the child develops a fungal infection in the scalp since it is treated with the help of antifungal tablets that are only available by prescription. The symptoms of a fungal infection on the scalp include small-sized patches of scaly skin, itchiness and patchy air loss.
The fungal spores are transferred from one individual to another via direct skin contact and by sharing objects such as bedding, towels and combs. When it comes to athlete’s foot, it typically spreads in changing rooms in swimming pools and gyms.
Animals such as cats and dogs can have ringworm. Humans can acquire the infection if pets are stroked or petted.
Who are affected?
Some individuals will end up with ringworm at some point in their lives. Even though children are more likely to develop the condition, individuals of all ages can be affected. The fungal infections in the groin are quite common in young men.
The fungal infections on the scalp are quite common among children who have not reached the stage of puberty.
Most cases of ringworm infections are usually mild and can be managed using antifungal creams readily available in drug stores. The scalp infections can be managed using antifungal tablets that are oftentimes used with antifungal shampoo.
In case the skin is broken or irritated, it can result to other bacterial infections that might require treatment using antibiotics.
How to control fungal infections
Always bear in mind that controlling the spread of infection is vital. Sharing towels, clothes or bedding with an individual who has a fungal infection must be avoided. If a pet is suspected with ringworm, it should be treated by a vet. Once the pet is treated as soon as possible, you are less likely to acquire the fungal infection.
In case a child has a fungal infection, he/she must not go to school but the teacher should be informed. Aside from treatment, the child must maintain a good level of personal hygiene in order to prevent the spread of infection.