Dermatophytosis, more commonly known as as ringworm, is a fungal infection of the skin. Ringworm is a misnomer. The infection isn’t caused by a worm. It’s caused by a fungus.
Ringworm infection can affect both humans and animals. The infection initially presents itself with red patches on affected areas of the skin and later spreads to other parts of the body. The infection may affect the skin of the scalp, feet,groin, beard, or other areas.
What are the Causes ?
Three different types of fungi can cause this infection. They are called trichophyton, microsporum, and epidermophyton. It’s possible that these fungi may live for an extended period as spores in soil. Humans and animals can contract ringworm after direct contact with this soil. The infection can also spread through contact with infected animals or humans. The infection is commonly spread among children and by sharing items that may not be clean.
Who Is at Risk ?
Anyone can develop ringworm. However, the infection is very common among children and people who own pet cats. You may be more likely to develop dermatophytosis if you come into contact with the fungi while you’re wet or if you have minor skin injuries or abrasions. Using a public shower or public pool areas may also expose you to the infective fungi. If you’re often barefoot, you may develop ringworm of the feet.
Those who often share items such as hairbrushes or unwashed clothing also have an increased risk of developing the infection. [embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgHubKUFhuw[/embed]
Symptoms vary depending on where you’re infected. With a skin infection, you may experience the following: red, itchy, scaly, or raised patches patches that develop blisters or begin to ooze patches that may be redder on the outside edges or resemble a ring patches with edges that are defined and raised If you’re experiencing dermatophytosis in your nails, they may become thicker, discolored, or begin to crack. If the scalp is affected, bald patches may develop.
Your doctor will diagnose ringworm by examining your skin and possibly using a black light to view your skin in the affected area. The fungus will fluoresce (glow) under black light. If you’re infected, the areas of the skin where fungus is located will glow.
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