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Ringworm 101: A Look At Some Of The Things You Need To Know

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You notice an odd ring of redness developing on your skin, possibly on your neck, hands, or arm. You think possibly you have managed to scratch yourself or cause an abrasion. However, before you know it, the skin starts to feel itchy, it is burning, and starting to look especially irritated. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have contracted a case of ringworm. Even though ringworm is a rather common skin condition, a lot of people do not know a lot about it. Take a look at a few things you need to know about ringworm so you can properly treat the problem.

Ringworm is not actually a worm at all.

Because of the name, it is easy to assume that ringworm must be caused by some sort of parasitic worm that has managed to get inside your skin. Not only is this terrifying to consider, it is also completely untrue. Ringworm is not a worm at all or even a parasite. What the skin condition is actually caused by is a form of highly contagious fungus, much like athlete's foot.  The only reason ringworm is actually called ringworm is because it causes ring-shaped abrasions on the skin.

Ringworm can be contracted from a lot of different sources.

Ringworm is highly contagious. The fungal spores of ringworm can get into your clothing, your bedding, and your towels or bath items. It is not uncommon for people to contract ringworm at the gym, at the park, or even from an infected animal. Ringworm can be passed from one person to another, and it can spread over your body simply through sweat or by touching the affected area. 

Treatment at home for ringworm can sometimes be difficult. 

In mild cases, a person who has ringworm on their skin may see the problem disappear in a few days if they keep the area clean, do not scratch it, and properly launder their clothing and bedding. However, it is most likely that you will have to use over-the-counter products to stop the problem. Treatment products designed for athlete's foot are a good option, and tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar are common home remedies because these products have antifungal properties. If home treatment does not clear up the problem, it is best to seek medical care at a healthcare center. A doctor can prescribe you antifungal medications and topical creams to help eliminate the problem.