In spite of its name, ringworm is not a worm or parasite at all, but a fungus. Depending on what part of the body it comes out on, it is also known as tinea. This fungus is called dermatophytes, and it lives and spreads onto the outer layer of skin. They cause a ring or circle-like effect of dry, flaky skin. Sometimes it does not appear in rings at all, but just as flaky, red, itchy skin, with rough patches. After contact, ringworm can take a few days to a week to appear. Ringworm can be treated with antifungal medication. Medication is either topical, such as creams and lotions, or oral in the form of a pill taken by mouth.
Like with most contagious conditions and diseases, direct contact with the fungus on another person will ensure you are also infected. Ringworm spreads quickly from person to person. This scope can be difficult because many times you are not often aware of the condition of the other person's skin, especially if it such a simple thing like holding hands or hugging. It pays to be cautious and if you see early signs of ringworm on your skin, determine who exactly you may have caught it from, and seek medical advice to find it early and stop the spreading.
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