On 8:52 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
What Is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection otherwise known as tinea. Ringworm most commonly affects the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete's foot), or the groin (tinea cruris, or jock itch). It often forms a ring-shaped rash. It can have a red center or normal skin tone inside the ring. Other rashes can look like ringworm, including spider bites, nummular eczema, and Lyme disease, a more serious infection that produces a bull's-eye shaped rash. These require different treatments, so it's important to consult a medical professional.
What Causes Ringworm?
Certain fungi can help the body, but the dermatophyte type that cause ringworm irritate the skin instead. These fungi live off the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails. Dermatophytes thrive in warm, moist areas, such as the skin folds of the groin area or between the toes. You’re at greater risk of getting ringworm if you sweat excessively or have minor injuries to your skin, scalp, or nails.
Ringworm of the Body (Tinea Corporis)
There are several types of ringworm (tinea) that can affect different parts of the body. When fungus affects the skin of the body, it often produces itchy, red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply defined edges. They are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center, creating the appearance of a ring. Your skin may also appear unusually dark or light.
Ringworm of the Scalp (Tinea Capitis)
Ringworm of the scalp commonly affects children in late childhood or adolescence. This condition may spread in schools. Tinea capitis often appears as patchy, scaling bald spots on the scalp.
Ringworm of the Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Tinea pedis is an extremely common skin disorder, also known as athlete's foot. This fungal infection may cause scaling and inflammation in the toe webs, especially the one between the fourth and fifth toes. Other symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and stinging on the soles of the feet.
Ringworm of the Groin (Tinea Cruris)
Tinea of the groin (jock itch) tends to have a reddish-brown color and may extend from the folds of the groin down onto one or both thighs. Jock itch occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. (Other conditions that can mimic tinea cruris include yeast infections, psoriasis, and intertrigo.) Jock itch may occur due to sweating, hot and humid weather, or friction from wearing tight clothes.
Ringworm of the Beard (Tinea Barbae)
Ringworm of the bearded area of the face and neck, with swellings and marked crusting, sometimes causes the hair to break off. In the days when men went to the barber daily for a shave, tinea barbae was called barber's itch.
Ringworm of the Face (Tinea Faciei)
Ringworm on the face outside of the beard area is called tinea faciei. On the face, ringworm is rarely ring-shaped. Characteristically, it causes red, scaly patches with indistinct edges.
Ringworm of the Hand (Tinea Manus)
Ringworm may involve the hands, particularly the palms and the spaces between the fingers. It typically causes thickening (hyperkeratosis) of these areas, often on only one hand. Tinea manus is a common companion of tinea pedis (ringworm of the feet). It is also called tinea manuum, ringworm of the nails
Spreads on Contact
Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread multiple ways.
- You can get it from an infected person, animal, object, and even soil.
- Heat and moisture help fungi grow and thrive, which makes them more common in areas where you sweat.
- Fungi also grows in skin folds such as those in the groin or between the toes.
Catching Ringworm From Pets
Ringworm is an example of a zoonotic disease (transmitted from animals to humans). Cats are among the most commonly affected animals. If a cat has ringworm, a person in the house often gets the infection. Dogs, cows, goats, pigs, and horses can also spread ringworm to humans. People catch ringworm from touching the animals, or touching their bedding, grooming items, saddles, carpeting, etc.
How Is Ringworm Diagnosed?
Sometimes, the diagnosis of ringworm is obvious from its location and appearance. Otherwise, doctors can test skin scrapings for tinea fungus.
How Is Ringworm Treated?
Ringworm can be treated with antifungal creams containing clotrimazole (Cruex, Lotrimin), miconazole (Desenex, Monistat-Derm), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and terbinafine (Lamisil). In cases of severe or resistant infections on the scalp or nails, doctors may prescribe oral medicines.
Tips for Preventing Ringworm
Ringworm is difficult to prevent, but here are tips to reduce your risk
- Don't share clothing, sports gear, towels, or sheets.
- Wear slippers in locker rooms and public pool & bathing areas.
- Shower after any sport that includes skin-to-skin contact.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing. Change your socks and underwear at least once a day.
- Keep skin clean and dry. Dry yourself completely after showering.
- If you have athlete's foot, put your socks on before your underwear to prevent spreading to your groin.
- Take your pet to the vet if it has patches of missing hair, which could be a sign of a fungal infection.
On 4:51 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
As some of you may now, New York will be hit with a heads up forecast that midweek this week we may be seeing heavy rainfall remnants of a tropical system moving into the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are Tips for Pregnant Women in case the above occurs. Hurricane season is especially stressful for pregnant woman and to help reduce the stress, and aid in the preparation for a hurricane, a list of helpful suggestions has been provided. The more prepared you are the more comfortable and safe you will be.
Before the Hurricane:
The following suggestions will serve as guidelines to help you prepare for a hurricane or other disaster:
- Prepare a current list of all prescriptions and prenatal vitamins you are taking. Put this list in sealable plastic bag then in a secure place among the belongings you plan to take with you if you leave your home.
- Bring at least a two week supply of all medications with you if you choose to relocate or go to a shelter during a storm.
- When possible, always bring medications in their original prescription bottle. In an emergency, an emergency decree allowing pharmacies to refill medications may be made, but you must have the original bottle.
- Place your medications in a sealable plastic bag to keep them dry and protect the information on the label in case you need to obtain refills.
- Make sure you have an additional supply of equipment needed to administer medications. For example, if you are diabetic bring your insulin, testing equipment, and supplies; while those with asthma may need a nebulizer.
• Call your Physician
- Communicate with your health care provider’s office to let them know where you will be; if you plan to leave town bring a copy of your medical records including prenatal record, immunizations, and current medications with you.
- Make sure that your health care provider has a current telephone number of where you will be staying.
- If you had or are having complications in your pregnancy, check with your health care provider to discuss whether it is safe for you to leave prior to the storm or if it would be better for you to go to a hospital or general shelter during the storm.
- If you have a chronic medical condition or pregnancy related complication and decide to leave town, it will be extremely important to bring your current medications, your recently updated medical record information, and the name and telephone number of your health care provider to assure proper treatment should you need it.
- If you choose to go to a hospital shelter you will need to bring a few personal items, but remember space is usually limited. Check in advance to see who may come with you to the hospital shelter and which supplies you will need to bring. Call the hospital in advance to make sure they have room and that this is where your doctor wants you to go.
• If you go to a hospital shelter or general shelter during the storm:
- Do not go to the hospital shelter or general shelter until you know that they are accepting people. Call the hospital or general shelter in advance to verify that you can take shelter there; if you go, please follow the directions for that shelter.
- Ask the hospital or general shelter if you should bring food and water. They may recommend that you bring bottled water, non-perishable snacks, and/or money to buy food.
- Bring all medications that you are taking as well as your prenatal vitamins. If possible, they should be in the original bottle.
- Bring the following items unless the hospital or shelter facility gives you other directions: Blanket, pillow, sleeping bag, and any toiletries, flashlight, batteries, something to help pass the time, any additional items the hospital or shelter recommend that you to bring.
After the Hurricane
Once the hurricane has past, there will be a period of cleanup and recovery. This is the time when you must be very careful not to become dehydrated and/or over-tired. Dehydration can be a contributing factor to premature labor. To prevent dehydration and exhaustion follow these suggestions:
• Drink plenty of water or beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
• Take a cool shower or sponge bath and try to stay in the shade or an air conditioned area if possible. If you have to be outside in the heat, bring water and an umbrella to provide shade.
• Do not lift heavy objects.
• Be sure you do not over tire yourself, take frequent rests.
• Try to eat a healthy diet as soon as possible.
• Keep all doctor appointments.
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