What is Ringworm

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What is ringworm? Some general information on ringworm is provided below. More detailed information on the ringworm skin care problem such as causes, symptoms, treatments, etc., can be found at the links at the bottom of this page. Also, please visit the ringworm pictures page for additional information on ringworm.

Ring worm is essentially an infection of the skin. This infection is caused by a fungus and resides on the top surface of skin. This is where the fungi feed on skin keratin which exists on the outer skin layers and also the hair and nails. It has nothing to do with a worm or a parasite under the skin, although this was the prevailing thought many years ago.

Ringworm is also known as tinea in medical terms and it can also get more specific. For example, tinea capitis is ringworm of the scalp. Tinea corporis refers to a fungal infection of the body. What is ringworm referred to as tinea pedis? Well this is a fungal infection of the foot and it is more commonly known as athlete’s foot. Tinea cruris or jock itch affects the groin and genital areas.

Ring worm does not target specific races, age groups, or sex. It can affect anyone and occurs in 20 to 30 per cent of individuals over their lifetime. However, certain conditions lead to an increase risk of developing tinea. These conditions include living in a warm and humid location or if an individual has a weakened immune system due to health problems such as AIDS, diabetes, etc.

Ringworm is generally easy to treat. However, not following the proper treatment regime or not completing the treatment, usually leads to relapses and it can develop into a persistent problem. Ring worm is also contagious.

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