Before pursuing a ring worm treatment, a proper ringworm diagnosis needs to take place. Self diagnosis can be performed by observing the various ring worm symptoms. However, this is simply the first step in a proper diagnosis. To verify that ringworm is actually the skin problem present, a physician needs to be consulted. The physician will take into account your observations, his observations, and may perform some clinical tests to determine if the problem exists and to provide the proper treatment for the ringworm.
Not all red or flaky and itchy patches of skin are the ringworm skin problem. Often several other skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis can be mistaken as a ringworm issue. A ringworm treatment will not help these other skin care problems and therefore, the proper ringworm diagnosis is imperative for a proper cure to be implemented.
A physician will start his or her diagnosis by doing a simple visual analysis of the skin problem, looking for the classic symptoms for the type of ringworm that may be present. The physician will also ask some key questions to see if exposure to a fungal source has recently occurred. Ringworm of the scalp generally appears anywhere from 10 to 14 days after exposure to an infected source and body ring worm usually four to ten days.
Some of the ringworm fungi are fluorescent or in other words they give off light when a certain type of light (ultra violet light) illuminates the affected skin area. If fluorescence occurs, then the fungus is present and the skin condition is most likely ring worm.
A more certain diagnosis before suggesting a ring worm treatment is performed via skin scrapings. Areas of affected skin are scraped or sampled and examined under a microscope for the presence of fungi. This test is not always definitive and usually further laboratory testing may be required which likely will include culture tests. Culture tests involve growing the fungi from the skin scrapings under controlled laboratory conditions.
In depth clinical tests are not always performed initially but are more likely performed if the problem is not clearing up after an initial ringworm treatment.
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