Ringworm lifecycle

Ringworm lifecycle DEFAULT

Ringworm Life Cycle

Many people do not realize that the ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is actually a fungal infection that is found anywhere on the body of animals and humans. According to Mayo Clinic, ringworm is one of many causes of hair loss on the scalp of humans 2.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Life Cycle

An infected animal sheds ringworm spores 1. These spores can exist in the environment, such as in mud, bedding and food, for more than 18 months. Ringworm symptoms appear within 10 to 20 days after initial contact with the fungal spores.


Disorders Related to Lack of Personal Hygiene

The fungal infection can develop on the body, but especially under fingernails and on feet. Ringworm skin lesions normally begin as distinctive, reddish round areas of hair loss, which may progress to reddening, thickening and loss of pigmentation to other skin areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that rash can be dry and scaly or wet and crusty 1.


Infected areas must be kept clean. Treat with an over-the-counter fungal product, such as Lamasil. Prescription topical products or pills can be used to treat ringworm in severe cases.


Skin Problems That Cause Eyebrow Loss

The best prevention is to avoid animals that have or are being treated for the fungal infection. Also, keep skin and feet clean and dry, shampoo regularly, wear sandals or shoes at gyms, lockers and pools, and do not share clothing, towels and personal-care items with other people.

Health Risk

Ringworms can be transmitted to humans from pets, from one person to another by direct contact or by contaminated combs, unwashed clothing and shower or pool surfaces.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ringworm and Animals
  • Mayo Clinic: Hair Loss
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fungal Diseases: Ringworm. Updated August 6, 2018.
  • Havlickova B, Czaika VA, Friedrich M. Epidemiological trends in skin mycoses worldwide. Mycoses. 2008;51 Suppl 4:2-15. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0507.2008.01606.x
  • InformedHealth. Athlete's foot: Overview. Updated June 14, 2018.
  • Sentamilselvi G, Janaki C, Murugusundram S. Trichomycoses. Int J Trichology. 2009;1(2):100–107. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.58552
  • Raugi G & Nguyen TU. Chapter 22: Superficial Dermatophyte Infections of the Skin. In: Netter's Infectious Diseases. Ed., Jong EC & Stevens DL. 2012:102-109. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4377-0126-5.00022-7
  • Gupta AK, Macleod MA, Foley KA, Gupta G, Friedlander SF. Fungal Skin Infections. Pediatr Rev. 2017;38(1):8-22. doi:10.1542/pir.2015-0140
  • Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(15):52–60. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.125531
  • Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(6):371-378.
  • Andrews, MD, Burns, M. "Common Tinea Infections in Children." Am Fam Physician. 2008 May 15;77(10):1415-20.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Definition of Ringworm." Dec 6, 2015.
  • Havlickova B, Czaika, VA, Friedrich, M. "Epidemiological Trends in Skin Mycoses Worldwide." Mycoses. 2008 Sep;51 Suppl 4:2-15. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2008.01606.x.
  • Mounsey, AL and Reed, SW. "Diagnosing and Treating Hair Loss." American Family Physician. Aug 15, 2009. 80.4(2009), 356-362.
Sours: https://healthfully.com/ringworm-life-cycle-5798694.html

How Long Is Ringworm Contagious?


Ringworm (tinea corporis) is an infection of the skin caused by tiny fungus spores that reproduce in the dead outer layers of your skin. It’s contagious as long as any spores are alive. This means it can spread on contact to other parts of your body, or to other people, even when you’re being treated.

While ringworm may clear up on its own, there’s no set timetable for this. It’s best to seek treatment.

Several different species of fungus can cause tinea.

The name ringworm comes from the circular, ring-like appearance of the red, itchy spots that tinea causes on the skin of your trunk or extremities. Tinea can cause infections on other parts of the body, but then it often doesn’t have the same appearance as ringworm.

How ringworm spreads

Ringworm is highly contagious, and it spreads from person to person (and even from animal to person).

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and jock itch (tinea cruris) are caused by the same organism as ringworm. It’s called ringworm when it appears on other parts of your body.

The feet and the crotch area provide a warm, moist environment for the microscopic fungal spores, known as dermatophytes, to live and reproduce. Their food supply is the protein, or keratin, that is found in your skin, especially the dead outer layers.

Athlete’s foot is often spread in showers and locker rooms because the fungal spores can live and reproduce in puddles and wet spots, especially when the water is warm.

Once the fungus has infected your feet, you can spread it to other parts of your own body by touching.

Sharing towels, clothing, and bedding can spread it from person to person.

Ringworm and pets

You can also catch ringworm from an infected pet, though this is less common. But the species of fungi that causes ringworm in pets is different from those common among humans. These fungi may sometimes be transferred to a person in close contact with the pet, but the ringworm is not as likely to spread from that person to another.

Microsporum canis (M. canis) is the most common form of ringworm in pets. Cats and dogs can both carry it, but cats are considered the most important hosts. It’s also regularly found on horses and rabbits. Long-haired breeds such as Persian cats and Yorkshire terriers are reported to be more susceptible.

Both humans and animals can be carriers without showing symptoms of ringworm infection.

What is the incubation period?

The incubation period for ringworm in humans is usually one to two weeks. Because the fungal spores are present before you see the ringworm outbreak, you can catch it from someone even before it shows up on them.

There are also some people and animals who can have ringworm but show no symptoms. They can still transfer the ringworm to you.

M. canis, the common cause of ringworm in pets, can be seen under an ultraviolet light (black light). Under an ultraviolet light, it may appear on the fur within seven days of exposure. But it takes two to four weeks for the symptoms to show up on the animal’s skin. During that time, your pet may be infectious without your seeing any symptoms.

How long can you pass it to someone else?

As long as the fungal spores are present in the skin, the ringworm can be spread from person to person, or animal to person. You don’t stop being contagious when you start using antifungal medication. However, once you start treatment, if you cover the lesions you can significantly decrease the risk of spreading them to others.

The condition is contagious until all the spores are eliminated from your skin. It’s difficult even for a doctor to know when all of the fungal spores have been killed.

The fungal spores can also stay alive on clothing, bedding, and elsewhere as long as their food supply (dead skin cells) is present, and they have a moist and warm environment. Spores can live for as long as 12 to 20 months in the right environment.

How long before it’s completely gone?

There’s no set time limit for a ringworm infection. Without treatment, it may go away on its own in a matter of months in a healthy person. Or it may not.

Ringworm on the body is usually treated with a topical ointment such as terbinafine. A four-week course is , but the time can vary.

With treatment, a ringworm infection on a part of the body without hair (glabrous skin) is likely to clear up within two to four weeks of the start of treatment.

More serious cases, and infections in the scalp, can require oral antifungal pills. In this case, too, you’re contagious until all the fungal spores are eliminated.

Common treatments to speed up healing

The standard treatment for ringworm is a topical antifungal preparation, such as terbanifine (Lamisil AT).

In more serious cases, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal, such as terbanafine, itraconazole (Sporanox, Orungal), or fluconazole (Diflucan, Celozole).

Prevention tips

Maintaining good general hygiene is the best prevention against ringworm. Ringworm often spreads from your feet or groin area, so preventing athlete’s foot and jock itch can be a first line of defense.

Some tips:

  • Always wear protective footwear in public showers, locker rooms, and pool areas.
  • Dry carefully after showering, especially your toes and groin area.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Never share towels, clothing, or bedding.
  • Avoid skin contact with children and pets who may be infected.
Sours: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-is-ringworm-contagious
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What Is Ringworm? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Treatment and Medication Options for Ringworm

Some types of ringworm can be treated with over-the-counter medications, but other forms require prescription antifungal medication. (11)

Medication Options

Treatment of ringworm depends on the location of the infection. Nonprescription antifungal creams, lotions, or powders that can treat tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) and tinea cruris (jock itch) include:

  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex)
  • Miconazole (Aloe Vesta Antifungal, Azolen, Baza Antifungal, Carrington Antifungal, Critic-Aid Clear, Cruex Prescription Strength, DermaFungal, Desenex, Fungoid Tincture, Micaderm, Micatin, Micro-Guard, Miranel, Mitrazol, Podactin, Remedy Antifungal, Secura Antifungal)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)
  • Ketoconazole (Xolegel)

Prescription antifungal medications that can treat ringworm on the scalp include:

Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Tinea cruris (jock itch) can typically be treated with over-the-counter topical medications. (12) Dermatologists also advise wearing breathable, cotton underwear. To relieve the symptoms of jock itch, the AAD recommends applying a cool, wet washcloth to the area for 20 to 30 minutes two to six times a day. (13) It’s important to use a clean washcloth each time and to use it only on the itch, and to wash it in hot, soapy water before using it again.

There has been some research into the use of herbal remedies in treating ringworm, but it has been mostly limited to animals. A study in the Hong Kong Medical Journal found that a topical herbal formula of traditional Chinese medicines with antifungal properties was effective in treating athlete’s foot in guinea pigs, though not as effective as a topical antifungal medication. (14)And a study in Mycoses found that an herbal formula of essential oils, applied topically, appeared to limit fungal growth in sheep affected with ringworm. (15) The German organization Informed Health Online notes that applications of tea tree oil have been recommended for athlete’s foot, but that there’s not much scientific evidence to support these recommendations. (16)

Prevention of Ringworm

Ringworm can be challenging to prevent, but there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce your risk, or to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of your body or to other people. (4)

  • Avoid sharing personal items such as clothing, towels, hairbrushes, and sports gear.
  • Don’t wear heavy clothing for long periods of time if you’re in a warm, humid climate.
  • Try to avoid excessive sweating.
  • Wash your hands often and well.
  • Shower right after playing sports and keep your uniform and gear clean.
  • Avoid infected animals, and have your pets or animals checked for ringworm.
  • Change your clothes, including your underwear and socks, every day, and wash them before wearing them again. (10)
  • Shower after exercising.
  • Wear waterproof shoes in locker rooms, public or shared showers, and pool areas.
  • Disinfect or throw out clothes and items that may be infected with ringworm, or that you wore while you had ringworm.
  • Wash towels and bedding that you use while you have ringworm in hot, soapy water.
Sours: https://www.everydayhealth.com/ringworm/guide/
How Long Is Ringworm Contagious?


Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm at all. It is in fact a fungal infection that can be caused by three different types of fungi: Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton. Collectively they are called Dermatophytes.

Ringworm occurs worldwide and all types of animals can be infected. Animals whose hides and skins are used for leather manufacture are normally only affected by the Microsporum and Trichophyton species; the Epidermophyton species normally only infects humans. However, humans can also be infected by the other species, so farmers are often keen to treat infected animals to avoid infection themselves. Ringworm lifecycle Usually, ringworm only grows in the outer dead parts of the skin where the epidermis has keratinised. It will also grow in other areas where there is keratin, eg hair and nails/claws. The infection rarely spreads into the deeper living skin tissue. However, the fungus produces enzymes etc which diffuse into the living skin below, causing inflammatory and hypersensitivity reactions that are responsible for the development of characteristic circular lesions. Ringworm infection begins on the hair or skin surface where the threadlike tubes called hyphae develop from the spores. These hyphae penetrate into the hair shaft causing it to weaken and break leading to patches of hair loss and some degree of inflammation of the hair follicle and the surface of the skin forms a scab which separates away. As the infection progresses, spores are produced that are carried by fragments of hair as it breaks off, thus spreading the infection. The ringworm spores are transmitted from animal to animal primarily through direct contact. Consequently it is most prevalent when animals are kept in close proximity, eg when housed during the winter months. Ringworm spores can persist in the environment for up to two years, so re-infection can easily occur. Ringworm damage to leather On leather, ringworm appears as characteristic circular shaped lesions that are usually between 1 and 5cm in diameter and sometimes the grain surface may be slightly raised. In calves, ringworm is most commonly found on the face and back. In adult animals it is also found on the chest and legs. Scar tissue is not formed during ringworm infection, but the distorted hair follicle mouths do disfigure the grain surface of leather, thus rendering it useless for aniline production. However, because only the surface of the leather is affected, it is easily removed by correcting the grain and is concealed by finishing. Control of ringworm In healthy animals immunity towards ringworm develops and further spread of the infection is inhibited, although this process may take some time. Without treatment, it can take many months for the infection to subside and the lesions to heal. In young animals, or where the immune system is challenged by other diseases, infections can be persistent and widespread. Disinfection of sheds and yards that have housed infected animals is important, as is the isolation of infected animals to prevent spreading the disease. In the event of an outbreak, there are many highly effective proprietary topical fungicidal treatments available, usually in the form of sprays. However, for treatment to be effective, it must be continued for some time after the lesions have healed. Medication can be administered in the animals' feed. However, this form of treatment is prohibited in animals intended for human consumption. As ever, prevention is better than cure and there is now a vaccination for ringworm available that has proved highly effective in the control of the disease in domestic animals. Summary Ringworm, or dermatophytosis to give its technical name, is a highly infectious fungal disease of the skin that can cause disfigurement of the grain surface of leather. It can affect any animal, but in terms of importance to the leather industry, it is most prevalent on cattle hides.

Sours: https://www.leathermag.com/features/featureringworm/

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