General Practice 2022

Ringworm: what é, symptoms, types and treatment

Table of contents:

Ringworm: what é, symptoms, types and treatment
Ringworm: what é, symptoms, types and treatment

Mycosis is a disease caused by fungi that can affect the skin, nails, scalp, groin and genital region, leading to the appearance of different symptoms according to the site of infection.

Fungal growth occurs mainly in humid environments, so one of the main ways of transmitting fungi is through sharing objects, especially towels, and lack of adequate hygiene.

Treatment for ringworm should be done according to the dermatologist's guidance, and the use of oral or topical medications, such as creams and ointments, is usually indicated.

Main symptoms

The symptoms of ringworm can appear in different parts of the body, and can affect the skin, fingers, scalp, genital region and nails, for example. Thus, symptoms may vary according to the location, the main ones being:

  • Itching;
  • Appearance of red and scaly lesions;
  • Darkening or lightening of skin regions;
  • Discharge and genital itching;
  • Changing the color and shape of the nail.

Symptoms are progressive and are more common in summer, as heat is one of the factors that favors fungal proliferation. It is important that the dermatologist is consulted so that the diagnosis of mycosis can be made and, thus, the most appropriate treatment can be initiated.

How infection happens

Fungi need an environment that provides the ideal conditions for their growth, such as heat and humidity.Thus, sharing wet bath and face towels can be considered a way of transmitting mycosis. In addition, diseases such as diabetes, prolonged use of antibiotics and stress can favor the proliferation of fungi, as there is a decrease in the immune system and in the amount of good bacteria in the body, resulting in ringworm.

Other factors that favor the occurrence of ringworm are sweating a lot, wearing very tight clothes and going to places that are very humid or that do not have adequate hygiene, such as changing rooms and bathroom stalls, for example.

Types of ringworm

Mycoses can be classified into some types according to the fungus responsible for the infection and the place where the symptoms appear, the main ones being:

  • Candidiasis, which is caused by Candida sp., which can affect the skin, mainly folds, mucous membranes and genital region;
  • Pityriasis versicolor, also known as white cloth, which is caused by the fungus Malassezia furfur;
  • Onychomycosis, which corresponds to a mycosis that affects the nail;
  • Frieira, popularly known as athlete's foot, which is a type of ringworm that develops between the toes;
  • Tineas, which can affect the scalp, buttocks, trunk, arms, legs, groin and feet, being caused by fungi belonging to the genus Trichophyton or Microsporum.

The type of mycosis must be identified by the dermatologist from the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person, as well as through dermatological exams. Learn more about the main types of ringworm.

How to prevent

The prevention of ringworm happens through simple measures that prevent fungal proliferation. Thus, it is important to have good hygiene care, including intimate hygiene, keep the body clean and dry, mainly cleaning the folds, and avoid walking barefoot on damp or public floors.

In addition, it is recommended to wear cotton clothes that allow the skin to breathe and avoid sharing personal materials, such as towels, makeup, hairbrushes and nail pliers, for example.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for ringworm must be indicated by the dermatologist and is done with the aim of eliminating the fungus that causes the infection and thus relieving the symptoms. Treatment is usually done with the use of creams, ointments, topical lotions or oral medications, which are recommended according to the location of the lesions and severity of symptoms.

The most used drugs in the treatment of mycoses are Fluconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole or Itraconazole and the treatment time varies according to the site of the mycosis, and can last from 30 to 60 days in the case of mycosis on the hands, 1 year in the case of mycosis of the feet and months when the fungi affect the scalp or nails, for example.See which are the best remedies for ringworm.

It is important that the treatment is carried out even if the symptoms disappear, because all the fungi may not have been eliminated yet, and there may be a reappearance of symptoms or even aggravation of the disease.

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