Everything You Need to Know About Tinea Corporis or Ringworm

Everything You Need to Know About Tinea Corporis or Ringworm
BY : Dr. Satish Titoria

Tineacorporis is also known as the ringworm and it is a rash caused by a fungus. It is an itchy, red, and circular rash with clear skin in the middle. This skin problem gets its name because of its round appearance. There is nothing like a worm in it.

It often spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact with the infected person or even animal. In the initial stages, just cream maybe enough, later on tablets also might be needed. Even if not severe patient, it is better go to the doctor.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Tinea Corporis or Ringworm?

This problem can easily be treated or controlled if you identify it in the beginning. Just look at the following signs and symptoms of this fungal infection:

  • A scaly ‘ring-shaped’ area particularly on the arms, legs, trunk, and buttocks
  • Itchy and red rashes
  • A scaly or clear area inside the infected skin or the ring, maybe with some scattering red bumps
  • Slightly raised and expanding rings
  • Overlapping rings
  • A flat and round patch of itchy skin

When You Must Visit the Doctor?

You should visit the doctor in the beginning itself. You shouldn’t use any Over-the-Counter products as it will change the picture and complicate the problem.

What are the Causes of Ringworm?

Ringworm or Tinea Corporis is a contagious fungal infection and it is caused by fungus that lives on the outer layer of our skin. However, it can easily spread in the following ways:

  • Human-to-Human Direct Contact: This skin fungal infection can easily spread by the direct and skin-to-skin contact.
  • Animal-to-Human Contact: If you are thinking that the infection can only spread from one human to another, then you are wrong. You can even get the infection by touching an infected animal. Ringworm can spread while grooming or petting animals. In addition to dogs and cats, it is quite common in cows.
  • Human-to-Object Contact: Yes! You read it right. Tinea corporis can spread by contact with surfaces or objects that an infected animal or person recently rubbed against or touched. These objects can be clothes, towels, linens, brushes, combs, etc.
  • Human-to-Soil Contact: Though it is in rare cases only, this skin infection can be spread to humans if they come in contact with the infected soil. This fungal infection is most likely to happen only from prolonged contact with excessively infected soil.

Risk Factors of Tinea Corporis

Even though this infection can be treated, you are at a higher risk of acquiring tineacorporis or ringworm if you:

  • Live in a warm and humid climate
  • Have close contact with the infected animal or person
  • Share clothes, towels, bedding, combs, etc. with someone who is already infected
  • Wear restrictive or tight clothes
  • Participate in sports activities that feature direct and skin-to-skin contact like wrestling
  • Have a weak immune system

Complications Involved in Tinea Corporis

It is a fungal infection that rarely spreads below the surface of your skin to cause severe illness. But, you should immediately contact a good dermatologist to get the necessary medical attention.

How to Prevent Tinea Corporis?

Well! The prevention of this skin problem is difficult. The fungus caused the ringworm is quite common. Furthermore, it starts to spread even before symptoms appear properly. However, you can still follow the steps given here to reduce the chances of ringworm infection:

  • Educate yourself as well as others: You should be aware of the risk involved in ringworm from the infected person or pet. Tell your family members about the problem and give them the necessary suggestions to avoid infection.
  • Keep everything clean:  If you come in contact with some patient or animal or object having this infection, then you should wash your hands immediately. Additionally, you should keep the shared areas i.e. child care centers, schools, gyms, locker rooms, etc. clean. If you are a sportsperson, then it is suggested to take shower right after a match or practice and keep your gears and uniforms clean.
  • Stay dry and cool: Do not wear excessively tight or thick clothes for a longer period particularly in humid and warm weather. Keep yourself cool by avoiding excessive sweating.
  • Do not touch infected animals with bare hands: You must be aware that this infection looks like a skin patch wherein the fur is missing. If you are any pet, ask your veterinarian to keep a check whether there is ringworm or not.
  • Do not share personal items with anyone: Do not allow others to use your personal items like clothes, towels, sports gear, hairbrushes, etc. Similarly, you should not borrow such things from others.

Wrapping Up!

You can easily treat any skin problem with prompt and the right medical attention. Hence, it is necessary to follow everything we have mentioned in this post and immediately contact your dermatologist if you notice something unusual on your skin.

Request An Appointment