Ringworm is a common fungal infection, especially among children, that appears on different parts of the body. It is characterized by ring-shaped, scaly and itchy patches of the skin. The patches may blister or ooze fluid. Ringworm is contagious and can be passed from person to person or through contact with contaminated personal care products, clothing or linens. Pets, particularly cats, can also pass on the infection.
The fungi are attracted to warm, moist environments, which is why the most common forms of ringworm include:
- Tinea Barbae, which occurs on bearded areas of the face and neck.
- Tinea Capitus, which occurs on the scalp.
- Tinea Cruris, also known as Jock Itch, occurs in the groin area.
- Tinea Pedis, also known as Athlete’s Foot, occurs between the toes.
Ringworm generally responds well to home remedies and will disappear in about four weeks. In addition to keeping the area clean and dry, you can apply over-the-counter antifungal powders, lotions or creams. In more severe cases, your dermatologist may recommend prescription antifungal medications and antibiotics.
What Is It?
Tinea versicolor is a surface fungal infection that causes changes in the outermost layer of the skin. The lesions appear as round, fine, scaling patches, which can be pink, tan or white. Of these, white is the most common.
What Causes It?
The infection is caused by a yeast-like fungus which normally lives on the skin’s surface in small numbers. A rash is usually seen as small and scaly with white and tan spots scattered over the upper arms, chest, back and neck. Tinea versicolor can cause mild itching. You may first become aware of the condition after sun exposure because the affected areas do not tan, causing more noticeable white spots.
To learn more about tinea versicolor, visit WebMD.com.
What Can Be Done?
The infection is easily treated with either topical or oral antifungal medications. The fungus is killed rapidly with therapy, but the uneven skin tones may take several months to return to normal color. To prevent recurrences, special soaps containing salicylic acid and sulfur may be helpful.
Patients at Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville are encouraged to stay away from tanning salons, as excessive Ultraviolet (UV) exposure may trigger this infection.
Next, read about Hyper/Hypo Pigmentation.