RINGWORM - PDF Document

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  1. RINGWORM WHAT IS RINGWORM? Ringworm is a skin disorder, which is not caused by a worm and is not always ring- shaped. Ringworm is caused by a fungus and often occurs on the scalp, body, hands, feet or nails. HOW DO YOU GET RINGWORM? Ringworm is very contagious; it can be passed from one person to another by touch. Among children, ringworm is often spread by sharing combs and hats or by leaning against movie or automobile seats. The fungus which causes ringworm comes from the soil, and most of us are exposed to these organisms all of the time. Conditions such as moisture, heat and darkness help ringworm to grow and spread. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF RINGWORM? When ringworm appears on the body or scalp, it usually shows up in small rings surrounded by tiny blisters that are quite itchy. Both children and adults are likely to suffer from ringworm of the feet, known as athlete’s foot. Symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching between the toes, scaling and blisters, which become worse if not treated. HOW DO YOU TREAT RINGWORM? There are many different medications used in treating ringworm. Some are taken orally while others are applied in direct contact with the infected area. Ringworm is a stubborn infection, requiring a doctor’s treatment to cure completely and to avoid giving it to others. CAN RINGWORM BE PREVENTED? Since household pets often spread ringworm, it is wise to check them often for symptoms of the fungus. Have the pet treated promptly if signs of the infection are found. Proper foot care can go a long way in preventing athlete’s foot. Feet should be bathed daily, dried thoroughly and dusted with a medicated foot powder. Remove dead skin and wear shoes and stocking which allow plenty of room for free movement of the foot. Prepared by Alabama Department of Public Health ADPH-P-PP/REV. 1-81