Despite the name, ringworm is not actually a worm. Also known as "Tinea," ringworm is a common, highly contagious, fungal infection. The bumpy, red rings that characterize this infection can form anywhere on the head and body of humans and animals. There are cures for ringworm, and the sooner you visit your doctor, the sooner the ringworm will be gone. As it heals, the visible signs of ringworm will diminish and the itching will stop.
You know you have ringworm when red rings form on your skin. These rings are bumpy like a rash, and can be about the size of a quarter; they may also be dry and itchy. Ringworm can appear anywhere on your body, even your scalp, feet and fingernails.
Ringworm is contagious; you can catch it through contact with another person or animal. You can also catch it in communal areas, like showers and pools. Ringworm can even be passed around in barber shops and nail salons that do not sterilize their tools.
Ringworm will not heal on its own. If you think you have ringworm, visit your doctor; he can prescribe antibiotics and creams to cure it. Upon using the medicine, your rashes should clear up in one to two weeks. However, more severe cases may take longer. The visible signs will slowly diminish, and the itching will stop.
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Wash your clothes and sheets every day until the infection is completely gone. Also, check family members and pets for signs of ringworm, in case you have passed it along. Sterilization will prevent you from catching it again, or spreading it to others.
Keep your skin clean and dry on a daily basis. Be aware of who you come in contact with. If you caught ringworm from a public place, notify the person in charge so that she can sterilize the area and prevent others from catching it.