Home Health Ringworm: How it Spreads & How to Deal With It

Ringworm: How it Spreads & How to Deal With It


This fungal infection is such a nuisance but there are effective ways to deal with it.

You may think that ringworm is caused by a worm but that is not the case. It is actually caused by a fungus and it gets the name ringworm from the shape it forms when it develops on the skin. Ringworm is characterized by a circular rash on the skin that has distinct edges. It looks like a worm that has its ends joined to form a ring and as such, the infection has come to be identified as ringworm.

It is common in school going children but it can also be found in adults who don’t uphold the best hygiene practices. It is spread through contact with an infected surface and it appears on different parts of the body. Clothes and surfaces such as locker rooms and bathrooms harbour the fungus and one can easily catch it after coming into contact with the infected surfaces.

It is common in people who have compromised immune systems. It spreads easily among groups of people who spend a lot of time together and such as families and athletes since there is a long of skin to skin contact.

A mother can easily get it from her child when she is breastfeeding and an athlete can get it from another when they share clothing in the changing room.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Treatment for Ringworm

Ring worm is quite irritating but the good thing is that it doesn’t come with harsh complications. The ringworm rash can be treated with topical creams and it will gradually disappear. However, when the ringworm develops on the scalp, topical treatments will not be ideal as such treatments do not penetrate the scalp properly for effective treatment.

In such a case, you will require oral antifungal medications that are more intensive than topical creams. The treatment will take approximately 6 weeks but it will help clear the infection once and for all.

Transmission from Animals

Ringworm is one of the diseases that humans share with animals and as such, one can get it from coming into contact with an infected animal. Pets such as cats and dogs are known to suffer ringworm infections and the fungus will get to you when you pet or play with them. Cows also bear the infection and you can get infected with ringworm when you come into contact with an infected cow.

How to Prevent Ringworm

The best way to prevent the spread of ringworm is by observing high levels of hygiene. You should also avoid sharing your clothing and personal items with others as this is the easiest way to get the infection transferred to you.

Parents should make sure that kids don’t share caps with their friends as they can easily get the fungus transferred to their scalps.

You should also avoid contact with infected animals. Monitor your pets for signs of ringworm and get them treated so as to prevent the infection from spreading in your home.

When you or any other member in your home gets ringworm, seek medical attention immediately so as to prevent its spread.