Ringworm is a very contagious infection. It is clinically known as tinea, which causes red patches on the skin. It is a fungal infection caused by the microorganisms called dermatophytes. Though its name can make you believe that is caused by worms, it has nothing to do with the infection. Its name comes from its characteristics, the ring-shaped skin patches.

There are many forms of ringworm. Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is a common infection that occurs mostly during summer season. Like any other type of ringworm, tinea pedis can spread from person to person. Tinea pedis is believed to be caused by either Trichophyton or Epidermophyton because these fungi grow in warm and moist areas. It may cause mild scaling with or without redness or itchiness. Usually, this infection develops in older people or in people with inadequate blood flow to the feet. People who develop this type of ringworm are prone for bacterial infections because the fungus causes cracking of the skin.

Nail ringworm is a form of tinea that is caused by Trichophyton. The fungus affects the nail, leading to a thickened, dull and deformed nail. Most affected are the toe nails.

Tinea cruris or jock itch, is usually a consequence of warm weather. It is most common in men than in women, the infection begins in the skinfolds of the genital area and can spread to the upper inner thighs. Usually we can say that the penis and the scrotum are not affected. Once developed, this type of infection is believed to be recurrent.

Scalp ringworm, also known as tinea capitis, is a type of tinea that mostly affects children. This type of ringworm is also caused by Trichophyton. It is also communicable and usually seen in children that can easily lead to ringworm outbreaks. This infection is very itchy and leads to a fragile hair that easily rips away causing temporary baldness.

Involving different parts of the body tinea corporis may be caused by Trichophyton, Microsporum, or Epidermophyton. This infection produces round patches with scaly borders and clear center areas.

Tinea barbae, also known as beard ringworm is a very rare case. It is mostly caused by bacteria not fungi.

In order to treat ringworm doctors present us two alternatives, the topical and oral treatment. All types of ringworm are mild, except the scalp and nail ringworm. For treating them doctors recommend antifungal lotions that in most of the cases have good effects. When you search for an antifungal drug to help you get rid of ringworm you have to seek for the following ingredients: miconazole, clotrimazole, oxiconazole, econazole, ketoconazole, ciclopirox, terbinafine and butenafine. Oral treatment is recommended in cases when the infection spreads over a large area or if it is about scalp or nail ringworm. Treatment must contain terbinafine, itraconazole and griseofulvin.