Ringworm is a very common type of skin disorder and most of the people suffer from this disease. Ringworm mainly occurs due to fungus infection. Fungus generally remains on the walls, damp areas, and household items like a towel, clothes or bedding. When they come in contact with the skin of human, they usually take the form of ringworm. Ringworm generally appears on the skin, scalp, feet, groin, and on some other delicate external parts of the human body.
Early, Advanced & Healing Stages of Ringworm
There are various stages of ringworm and these stages are mainly classified due to various factors such as the symptoms of ringworm, parts on which it is affected and species of fungi that are responsible for the disease. Based on all these factors, ringworm is classified into the following stages:
Early Stages: In the early stage, you will not get too much symptom of ringworm. It usually takes four to fourteen days for the symptoms of ringworm to appear clearly. This is because the fungi multiply itself on the skin and when the fungi are in enough quantity you can notice a pink or red spot on the skin. Very often the affected area becomes dry, scaly and most importantly it becomes itchy. Day by day the rash on the skin will start to increase and it will create a circular patch on the affected part of the skin with red edges. When you can observe such circular patches on the skin with the red edge you must understand that you are the victim of the early stage of ringworm. In such a case, you should immediately go to a dermatologist and take proper medication.
Advanced Stages: If the early stage of ringworm is not treated properly, it may get into the advanced stage. The infection of fungi gets fully settled in the advanced stage and it may appear on various parts of the body and presents itself in various forms. Some of the common areas where the fungus develops are face, hand, scalp, feet, and groin and these affected areas are medically called as Tinea unguium, Tinea capitis, Tinea pedis and Tinea barbae.
In Tinea unguium form, the fungi appear as yellow spots on the white crescent-shape of the nail of fingers or toes. It should be treated as quickly as possible. If not treated at the early stage, it may destroy the nail permanently.
- Tinea capitis is usually seen in children aging in between 3 years to 7 years. It usually occurs at the scalp. In Tinea capitis, you can observe dry scaling on the scalp which will cause hair loss, yellow crusts, black dots on the scalp, etc. Swollen lymph gland is also observed on the neck during Tinea capitis. You may also experience some fever during this stage. It should be treated quickly because it may cause permanent hair loss on the affected area.
- Tinea pedis is most common in human and it is very difficult to treat as it mainly appears on the foot. In Tinea pedis, you will experience itching and pain in the affected area. You can feel dry scaling on the feet, a cluster of blisters, round and dry patches are observed on the feet. Apart from that, you can also have peeled skin in between the toes.
- Tinea barbae generally appears on men’s face, beards and mustaches. It mainly spreads due to unhygienic practices and it is mainly found in farmers. T. verrucosum and T. mentagrophytes are two main fungi that are responsible for this disease. It causes swelling and marked crusting on the face. It can also develop itching and the red lumpy area around the face of the patient. The facial hair gets easily pulled out from the affected area.
Healing Stages: Ringworm should be treated quickly otherwise it will remain on the skin for several months. If the treatment starts quickly it will heal in a few days – usually two to four weeks. However, it mainly depends on how the skin of the patient can respond to the medicines that are given to the patient. During the healing stage, the skin of the patient become flaky and peel but there is nothing to worry as this symptom is normal and as the day progress the itching gradually lessens and finally disappears. At the time of the healing stage, it is highly recommended to clean the affected area regularly to minimize the growth of fungi in the affected area anymore. It is highly recommended to wash bedding and clothes with hot water and should also clean carpets, furniture and other things with which the patient comes in contact. Ringworms are highly contagious and as such, it is highly recommended to avoid coming in contact with the person having ringworm or use his or her clothes especially when the ringworm is at the healing stage.
Though common, ringworm should not be taken lightly. In the advanced stage, it takes lots of time to eradicate it from the body permanently. Sometimes, it relapses if treatment is not completed or a doctor’s advice is not followed. Hygiene is a primary factor in ringworm treatment or protecting the body from its attack.