How ringworm infection affects human beings


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Dermatophytes meaning “skin fungi” are Dermatophytes meaning “skin fungi” are microorganisms that cause skin disease in humans and animals. Ringworms or dermatophytosis come from these dermatophytes. The origin of the word is from the late Middle English during 1375 to 1425. In medical term, it is called as tinea corporis. Tinea means growing worm in Latin and corporis means skin in the body. It often appears as itching round spots that people before modern medicine, believe comes from worms. Although, not all ringworm gives circular marks and not all red spots on the skin are ringworms. It also grows on hair and nails. The symptoms are dryness and rosiness of the skin, discomfort and itchiness. The skin in between the circle will look normal. When touching the rash, it is hard and brittle.

The most common types of ringworm are the following:

Tinea Capitis is ringworm in the scalp which causes temporary hair loss. When the scalp and beard is infected, there will be bald areas. The hair foundations at the base are broken because the hair in the infected scalp becomes crusty. Ringworm in the scalp doesn’t appear as round. It is vulnerable to people with dandruff and left it untreated.

Jock itch is ringworm that grows in the moist areas such as the groin, inner thighs and buttocks. Its medical term is tinea cruris.

Athlete’s foot grows in the skin on the feet. Symptoms are flaking and cracking of the bottom of the feet and itching in between toes and there is a bad odor. Toe web or interdigital is a type of athlete’s foot that happens in the fourth and fifth toes. Moccasin-type impinges on the sole or heel. Vesicular infection or blisters occurs in the instep but may also expand around the feet. Its medical term is tinea pedis.

Tinea corporis is the ringworms in the arms and legs.

Tinea unguium is ringworm in fingernails and toenails. This ringworm might cause nail dystrophy or the longitudinal creasing of all the nails. Nails become stained, thick and disintegrate.

It is a contagious skin disease so direct or indirect contact with an infected person is unsafe. Sharing of personal items and clothing can pass ringworm from one person to another or also called anthroprophilic. It may also be zoophilic, the transmission from animals to humans. The risky places that people might catch ringworms are showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. These places are damp and moist. Ringworm can also develop after prolong exposure from infected soil however it is extremely rare.

It is most likely to develop persons with type-1 diabetes, overweight persons, and patients with AIDS and HIV, undergoing chemotherapy and with venous insufficiency or poor circulation. The possible complications are increase of ringworms to other areas, bacterial skin infections, side effects from medicines, contact dermatitis and other skin disorders.

Deep fungal infections can form cancer and may be fatal however ringworm is not severe. But still, it is best to treat this before it turns into a continuing infection. Susie Q wrote this article.

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