What Causes Ringworm and How to Treat It will be discussed here. This is to aid the treatment of the disease in Nigeria.
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When talking about contagious diseases in Africa especially Nigeria, Ringworm also known as dermatophytosis is also one of the most common diseases among them.
It is an itchy infection that affects the skin in a small circular pattern. Although it is called a ring ’worm’, the infection is not caused by a worm but rather caused by a fungus.
Against popular belief, ringworm is not restricted to children alone as it is also found among those who own pets such as cats.
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Ringworm can pass from one person to another through the following means:
- Touching and using personal belongings belonging to infected persons such as towels, clothing, etc.
- Coming in contact with soils where the host fungi are present (remember that these fungi are invisible) especially during carrying out agricultural activities and playing amongst children.
- Walking barefoot.
- Bathing in a public shower or pool where the water is not washed away but stagnated.
- During menstruation, women who do not observe thorough personal hygiene could also be affected.
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The signs strictly depend on the part of the body or skin affected. But some general signs include:
- Affected areas become reddish and begin to scratch and eventually swell.
- Some round swells (they may not be too big in size) burst ultimately.
- Ringworm, however, is not limited to the skin as it often affects the nails and scalp of the head. Should a person have a ringworm infection on the scalp, the person may have bald patches; and if it is on the nails, it is likely to become thicker, discolored, and may even begin to crack as a result of the activity of the fungi.
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Immediately you have been diagnosed with ringworm, do the following to kill the fungi:
- Begin the use of antifungal creams like; Econazole, Miconazole, Ketoconazole, Terbinafine, etc. the dosage of these antifungal creams differ as they contain different components as such, it is important to consult your physician for adequate dosage. But it is also important to note that creams like Terbinafine should not be used for children.
- Take antifungal tablets as directed by the physician. However, there are some categories of people who should not take these tablets as they may cause detrimental damage to their body system. Before taking a drug, be sure they see a dermatologist or doctor.
- Wash the affected parts every day with soap and water.
- Expose affected parts to sunlight and air as much as possible.
- Avoid wearing clothes that interfere with or irritate the affected area of the body.
- Make sure your skin stays clean and dry at all times; you need to do this no matter the cost in order to break free from the infection.
- Infected persons should ensure that their beddings and other personal belongings are washed and disinfected daily to avoid a re-occurrence after treatment.
- No matter how it itches, avoid scratching the infected areas as much as possible.