General Practice 2022

7 types of skin ringworm (and how to treat it)

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7 types of skin ringworm (and how to treat it)
7 types of skin ringworm (and how to treat it)

Skin mycosis is a type of disease caused by the presence of fungi on the skin, which generates itching, redness and scaling and can affect any region of the body, being more frequent in summer, as heat and sweat favor the multiplication of the fungi that inhabit the skin, causing the infection. See more symptoms of ringworm.

There are several types of skin mycoses, which can be classified depending on the affected area and the fungus that causes it.

1. Nail fungus

Also known as onychomycosis, it is an infection that leaves the nail yellow, deformed and thick, and can be transmitted to areas around the nail or to other nails, being more frequent in the toenails.

How to treat: Nail fungus can be treated with pills prescribed by the dermatologist, such as Fluconazole or Itraconazole, or by applying an ointment or nail polish for the mycosis nail products, such as Loceryl, Mycolamine or Fungirox, for example. Another option is the use of a laser, which eliminates the mycosis fungus through the infrared rays emitted by it.

Treatment for mycosis of the nail is time consuming because the fungus is only completely eliminated when the nail grows. Therefore, treatment usually takes about 6 months for fingernail fungus and 12 months for toenail fungus. Learn more about mycosis of the nail.

2. Candidiasis

Candidiasis is an infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans that is naturally present in the mouth and genital region of men and women, however due to changes in immunity, for example, it can have its amount increased, leading to the appearance of the signs and symptoms of candidiasis.

Vaginal candidiasis is a very common infection in women due to the increase in the population of this fungus, which happens mainly when the immune system is weakened, in cases of diabetes, when there are poor hygiene habits or after treatment with some antibiotics or corticosteroids.

Oral candidiasis is an infection that mainly affects babies, due to their still poorly developed immunity, or in adults with a weakened immune system due to flu, chronic diseases or HIV, for example.

How to treat: The treatment for oral candidiasis can be done at home with the application of antifungals in the form of a gel, liquid or mouthwash, such as Nystatin, for 5 to 7 days, however, in the most severe cases, treatment can be done with oral antifungal drugs, such as Fluconazole, according to the doctor's recommendation.

In the case of candidiasis on the genitals, it is possible to use oral or local ointments and tablets, such as fluconazole, clotrimazole or ketoconazole. Check out more details about candidiasis and how to treat it.

3. Pityriasis versicolor

Also known as white cloth or beach ringworm, it is a type of ringworm caused by the Malassezia furfur fungus, which produces a substance that prevents the skin from producing melanin when exposed to the sun. Thus, in the places where the fungus is, the skin does not get tan, leading to the appearance of small white spots. Learn more about the white cloth.

How to treat: The treatment for beach ringworm is done with the use of medicines such as Fluconazole, or antifungals applied locally, such as creams, ointments, lotions or sprays, depending on the degree of skin involvement. If the mycosis returns soon after the treatment, you should go to the dermatologist for a specific treatment.

4. Athlete's foot

Also known as tinea pedis or chilblains, this is a type of skin mycosis caused by the fungi Trichophyton, Microsporum or Epidermophyton, which mainly affects regions on the sole and between the toes.

How to treat: The treatment usually consists of the application of antifungal creams or ointments, however, in some cases, the symptoms may not improve only with the use of this type of creams and, therefore, it may be necessary for the doctor to prescribe antifungal tablets of Itraconazole, Fluconazole or Terbinafine, for about 3 months. See more details on treating athlete's foot.

5. Ringworm in the groin

Also called tinea crural, this mycosis is caused by the fungus Tinea cruris, being more frequent in obese, athletes or people who wear clothes that are too tight, due to the creation of a hot and humid environment, favorable to its development.

How to treat: Treatment usually consists of applying antifungal creams or ointments such as clotrimazole or econazole.

6. Tinea scalp

Also known as Tinea capitis, this is a mycosis that can be caused by different fungi, which can cause hair loss, scalp psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, among others.

How to treat: The treatment consists of the use of shampoos or lotions with tar or salicylic acid or based on clobetasol propionate, which can be associated with an antifungal, such as for example ketoconazole.

7. Impingem

This ringworm, also known as tinea corporis, can develop anywhere on the body, and is characterized by a red rash with lighter skin in the middle. Learn how to identify and treat Impingem.

How to treat: In most cases, treatment is done with the application of antifungal creams and ointments such as clotrimazole, ketoconazole, isoconazole or terbinafine, however, if symptoms do not improve only with the use of this type of cream, you should go to the doctor, so that he can prescribe antifungal pills such as fluconazole or terbinafine for example.

During the treatment of ringworm, some home remedies can also be used to relieve symptoms more quickly.

Home treatments for ringworm

Ringworm can also be treated or alleviated with the use of home remedies such as rubbing a clove of garlic with chlorhexidine on your nails or soaking your feet in a bowl of peppermint tea.

Other home remedies for candidiasis in women are sitz baths with bicarbonate of soda and the use of natural yogurt in the vagina. They decrease the acidity of the vagina, stopping the growth of fungi that prefer a more acidic environment to develop. These home remedies can also be used by men. See more home remedies to treat candidiasis.

Possible causes

Fungi are the main causes of mycoses on the skin, however, for the disease to develop, it is necessary that other conditions are met, such as depression of the immune system, a hot and humid environment and, in addition,, in most cases contagion is necessary.

The infection can appear more often after taking antibiotics, because the bacteria present in the skin decrease, allowing the fungi to proliferate. In addition, walking barefoot in public places such as beaches, swimming pools and bathrooms, having poor blood circulation, having nail injuries, having unprotected sex, taking excessive showers, sweating a lot, wearing tight clothes and going to places that are too humid and hot, increases the risk of developing ringworm.

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