What is ringworm infection? How can one get a ringworm infection?
Superficial fungal infection of skin is also known as ringworm. In Hindi it is termed as Daad.
How does the infection spread? What are the predisposing factors for development of ringworm infection?
Ringworm is transmitted by direct skin contact with an infected person and by sharing objects of daily use. Ringworm is more common in tropical climate where high temperature, humidity and occlusive environment predisposes its development. Diabetes mellitus, HIV infection or patients taking steroids and anticancer drugs are at high risk of superficial fungal infection. Poor hygiene, increased sweating, tight garments, self- medication, infected family members are contributory factors.
How does ringworm(daad) look like? Which areas of the body are affected?
Ringworm presents with circular red itchy lesions with raised border and central clearing. Common sites affected are the body folds especially the groins (jock itch), the armpits and areas below the breasts.
What should be done if someone gets superficial fungal infections?
Consult a dermatologist for early diagnosed and treatment.
Is there any laboratory tests to diagnose ringworm?
Dermatologist can diagnose it based on clinical features. If required, scrapings from the skin can be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
What is the treatment for superficial fungal infection?
Topical antifungal agents include clotrimazole, miconazole,ketoconazole,terbinafine, eberconazole, luliconazole etc. Oral antifungals include agents such asterbinafine, fluconazole, itraconazole and griseofulvin. Oral antihistaminics such as levocetirizine, cetirizine may also be prescribed to reduce the itching. Type of medicine, dose and duration is decided by the treating dermatologist based disease severity, and presence of other conditions such as kidney/liver disease, pregnancy.
Are there any side effects of ringworm treatment?
Topical steroid- antifungal combinations are the most commonly availableover the counter medications used as self- treatment.These creams may provide temporary instant relief, because of the steroid ingredient. The fungal infection is just suppressed and over a periodsteroid side effects on the skin like thinning and stretch marks are observed. Creams for ringworm should not be purchased over the counter without a dermatologist prescription or on the recommendation of friends/neighbours/family members/non allopathic-non dermatology professionals.
Some oral antifungals can have adverse effects on liver and interaction with medication for diabetes/hypertension. Inform your dermatologist about the medicines you are taking before he prescribes you any medicines. The dermatologists may also order some blood tests before prescribing and while you are on those medicines.
Yes, ringworm can recur. Inadequate-incomplete treatment, improper or inadequate treatment of family members or close contacts, use of topical steroid antifungals, resistance to antifungal drugs, and self-medication are the factors predisposing to recurrent fungal infection.