Article written by
Dr Sukanya Banerjee
MD (DVL), Fellowship in Dermatosurgery & Cosmetology,
Fellowship in Lasers & Dermatosurgery (NSC, Singapore),
1) What is Ring worm infection?
Skin infection caused by a fungus called, Tinea rubrum/ Tinea mentagrophytes that infects skin, hair and nails.
2) What areas of the body can be affected?
Tinea infection can affect any part of the skin. Most commonly seen are involvement of the moist areas, like groins and thigh (known as Jocker’s itch), feet (athletes foot), buttocks, trunk, axilla, beard area. Scalp involvement is also seen and is more common among children.
3) What are the symptoms?
Ring worm infection presents as a circular itchy rash, which are often spreading circumferentially. As the disease spreads, the centre portion of the lesion clears out, but the circular border is very much prominent.
4) Why does ring worm/ fungal infection occur?
Humidity and warmth in our environment, sweating facilitates the growth of this fungus. Since it is an infectious disease, ring worm can spread from one person to other by contact, surface, bed sheets, towel, clothing.
5) Problem with ring worm infection now a days
Ring worm infection has now reached an almost epidemic stage. Almost 50% of all dermatology outdoor patients are suffering from fungal infection. Increasing pollution, climatic changes, lifestyle changes and even resistant fungus strains are the main cause of such menace.
6) How to treat fungal infection?
Always consult a qualified dermatologist only if you see symptoms of a ringworm infection. Often people go to medical shops or unqualified doctors for skin issues and apply whatever they suggested. This causes the infection to persist for a long time. Initially there might be decrease in symptoms, but after a few days the problem is back with vengeance.
7) How to prevent fungal infection?
For successful treatment and prevention of recurrence, these are a few things you MUST follow:
- Keep your body dry and try to wipe off the perspiration as much as possible. Wipe your body with a soft cotton cloth every hour.
- After bath/ toilet- dry your body fully before putting as clothes.
- Always wear loose cloth garments and undergarments. Avoid wearing synthetic material. Avoid tight clothing like jeans or leggings. Change your under garments regularly.
- Maintain strict personal hygiene. Wash all your clothing items and linens separately in hot water. It is preferable to soak them in hot water before washing and iron them with high heat setting after washing.
- Avoid application of antiseptic lotion.
- If your dermatologist gives you medicines to apply follow the “Rule of 2”; which is to apply the medicine 2cm of the border of the lesion.
- If spouse/partner is affected, avoid intimacy.
- If pets are infected, get them treated by veterinary physicians