Ringworm is a contagious fungus infection that can affect the body, the scalp, the feet (athlete’s foot) or the nails. Tinea (pronounced: tih -nee-uh) is the medical name for a group of related skin problems such as jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Ringworm tends to be very itchy and uncomfortable. The name ringworm comes from its characteristic, a red ring that appear on an infected person’s skin .

Jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm are all types of fungal skin infections known collectively as tinea . Often, there are several patches of ringworm on your skin at once. If the scalp is infected, there is an area of baldness. The infected are can be dry and scaly or wet and crusty. Ringworm is very common, especially with children, it can be spread by skin-to-skin contact and contact with contaminated things. Ringworm of the skin starts as a red and scaly patch or bump. Ringworm are itchy and can spreads quickly, those infected are contagious even before they show symptoms of the disease.

The source of the fungus is often another person, an animal (usually a cat, dog, or rodent) or the soil. Tinea cruris or jock itch affects the groin area. Tinea manuum is the ringworm of the hands. The fungi responsible for ringworm are called dermatophytes, meaning plants that live on the skin. Therefore, the more correct term for ringworm is “dermatophytosis.” Ringworm usually isn’t serious, except for people with weak immune systems.

Causes of Ringworm

The common causes of ringworm include the following :

* Direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or pet .
* Indirect contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or pet has touched such as combs, bed linens, telephones, mats and shower stalls.
* From the floors of public showers or locker rooms or damp surfaces is the most common method of contracting ringworm.
* Ringworm infection is caused by a fungus .
* Using an infected person’s items such as brushes or towels.
* Sharing an infected child’s toys.

Symptoms of Ringworm

Some sign and symptoms of ringworm are as follows :

* When your scalp or beard is infected you will have bald patches.
* If nails are infected, it become discolored, thickened and even crumble.
* Jock’s itch – symptoms often include kerion and crusted skin on bearded areas of the face and neck.
* A circle of rash on your skin that’s red and inflamed around the edge and healthy looking in the middle.
* Slightly raised extending rings of red and scaly skin.

Treatment of Ringworm

Treatment of ringworm include the following :

* Fluconazole (Diflucan).
* Itraconazole (Sporanox).
* Ketoconazole (Nizoral).
* Miconazole (Monistat-Derm).

Home Remedies for Ringworm

* The leaves of the cassia tree are useful in irritation of the skin and in alleviating swellings and pains.
* The extracted juice from the leaves of holy basil are also useful in ringworm.
* The juice of raw turmeric should be applied externally to the parts of the skin affected by ringworm.
* Raw papaya is one of the most effective home remedies for ringworm.
* Raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice in combination with spinach juice are proven to be beneficial in the treatment of ringworm.
* The seeds of the herb shea  butter are valuable in ringworm.
* Take a few mustard seeds and powder them, then combined with water to make a paste and apply it to the infected area. 

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