"What are the symptoms of a ringworm"

Ringworm developed on the human body surface is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of your skin of the body. A red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle is how it is characterized. It may itch. Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance. No actual worm is involved.

The ringworm is closely related to athlete's foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris) and ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). It is also known as tinea corporis, ringworm of the body. Direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal is generally responsible for the infection. Antifungal medications that you apply to your skin Mild ringworm often responds to the infection. Antifungal pills for several weeks might be required for more-severe infections.

Symptoms
A roughly circular ring gets formed, Ringworm typically begins as a flat scaly area on the skin, which may be red and itchy. The infection expands outward — forming, this patch develops a slightly raised border. The contours of the ring may be quite irregular, resembling the wavy outline of a snake or a worm.

The interior of the ring may be clear, scaly or marked with a scattering of red bumps as could be visible on the surface. In some people, several rings develop at the same time and may overlap.

When to see a doctor
If you develop a rash on your skin that doesn't improve within two weeks, see your doctor. You may need prescription medication.

Causes
Ringworms live in the outer layer of your skin and is a contagious fungal infection. They are mould-like parasites that live on the cells. It can be spread in the following ways:

Direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person causes human to the human spreading of ringworm.

Animal to human. Touching an animal with ringworm can cause you contract ringworm. Petting or grooming dogs or cats can very well be responsible for spreading. It's also fairly common in cows.

Object to human. Personal items like clothing, towels, bedding and linens, combs, and brushes can spread by contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or animal has recently touched or rubbed against. 

Soil to human. In rare cases, contact with infected soil can cause spreading to humans. Prolonged contact with highly infected soil could be the main cause.

Risk factors
You're at higher risk of ringworm of the body if you:

Live in a warm climate

Have close contact with an infected person or animal

By means of sharing clothing, bedding or towels with someone who has a fungal infection can be very well responsible for getting the infection.

In Sports like wrestling, where skin-to-skin contact chances are high, participation in sports could very well be responsible for getting the infection especially if your opponent is infected.

Wear tight or restrictive clothing

Have a weakened immune system

Complications
Below the surface of the skin, ringworm does not extend to cause serious illness. It might be difficult to get rid of the infection for such people with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS.

Prevention
Ringworm is difficult to prevent. Even before symptoms appear, the fungus that causes ringworm is common and contagious. Risk of ringworm infection could be reduced you by taking these steps:

Educate yourself and others. Infected people or pets is always a high-risk option and be aware of the risk of ringworm infection from such cases. Make your children aware of the risks of about ringworm infection, how to be on the watch-out for chances of infection.

Keep clean. To avoid the spread of infection, wash your hands often. Keep common areas in schools, child care centres, gyms and locker rooms all clean.

Stay cool and dry. For long periods of time in warm, humid weather, thick clothing should be avoided. Avoid excessive sweating.

Avoid infected animals. The infection appears as a patch of skin where the fur is missing. In some cases, though, you may not notice any signs of the disease. Ask your veterinarian to check your pets and domesticated animals for ringworm.

Don't share personal items. Personal items like clothing, towels, hairbrushes etc. should not be allowed to be shared with others under any circumstances. Avoid borrowing such items from others whether they have a visible infection as such.