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Some fungi may cause infections on the body and scalp. The infection causes rash and pruritus on the skin, called ringworm, or scaly stains on the scalp. The infection occurs through body contact from person to person or from pet to human. The infection is unusual, but sometimes epidemics may occur at, for example, preschools. This type of fungal infections is called tinea, which means skin fungus. The infections have other names that refer to the part of the body they affect.
What is ringworm? Ringworm symptoms, diagnosis and causes
Dermatophytes normally limit their invasion activity to the stratum corneum and its appendages. The different composition of keratines and the different mechanisms of defense produced by the host determine the different susceptibility of animal species to dermatophytes. In the carnivores Persian cats and Angora and Yorkshire Terrier breed dogs are particularly prone to contracting the infection. Particularly in Persian cats, it is possible to observe, though rarely, the extent of dermatitis and subcutaneous infection that causes the formation of nodules (pseudo-mycetomas).
Ringworm, or dermatophytosis (tinea corporis). In Latin, ‘corporis’ means ‘body’. Fungal infections on the body are called dermatophytosis, or ringworm. The disease usually occurs on the arms, legs, chest and face. Ringworm can infect pets, such as cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. Most often, the infected pet also has symptoms such as pruritus and hairless spots. The infection can also spread from person to person.
The most common symptom of ringworm is small red and itchy rash. On a dark skin, it is usually not the red one. The rashes are round or oval, ranging from several millimeters to several centimeters in size. The surface is often scaly or tiny. When the blemishes grow bigger, they can begin to heal in the middle and then get their typical ring shape. The skin inside the ring may look normal. The edge of the ring is slightly raised and can be scaled, it is red on light skin and gray on dark skin. The typical sign of fungal scalp is one or more scaly spots with short broken hairs. The incubation period, that is, the time it takes from the time you have been infected until the disease appears may vary from a few days to a maximum of two weeks.
Usually the first lesion is manifested as a circular area characterized by alopecia, desquamation, and crust formation. There are frequent papillomas or follicular pustules at the edge of the affected area. If not treated, areas can multiply and join together forming large areas that expand centrifugally and tend to heal centrally. Itching is generally absent although sometimes it is reported in some subjects.
Clinical signs of dermatophytosis, especially in the cat, are heterogeneous and in case of suspicion it is good to use diagnostic aids. Among them the most used screening test is the Wood lamp. Under this light the lesion associated with infection by Microsporum canis emits an apple green fluorescence in 50% of the cases. A negative fluorescence therefore does not exclude the presence of dermatophytes. A second screening test useful for identifying and sampling infected hairs is dermoscopic examination. At 10 magnifications, the infected hairs appear sick and they flex using a comma (comma hair).
Once identified with the Wood lamp or with the dermoscopic examination of the infected hairs, they will be then subjected to the microscopic direct examination. Scales and hairs are placed on the storage slide with a few drops of Chloral Blak, a specific dye that helps to create contrast. If the finding is positive, the spores and the hyphae typical of the extracted material are observed. To identify the type of dermatophytes, the healthcare provider will proceed with the crop examination. In practice, scraping and hair removal is sown in the Sabouraud soil where mushrooms develop colonies of a distinctive appearance for each species that allows identification. In cats suspected of asymptomatic carrier status, fungal culture is the only examination that allows latent infection to be verified.
The treatment of dermatophytosis
Dermatophytosis is considered a self-limiting disease in immunocompetent subjects. However, antifungal therapy should be systematically used to reduce the course of the infection and to limit the risk of contagion for man and other cohabiting animals and the dissemination of infection in the environment. As far as possible both systemic and topical therapy should be used and the subjects treated should be checked every 15 to 20 days to evaluate the response to the therapy and to carry out the control culture. Antifungal therapy should be discontinued after obtaining two negative consecutive colony tests at a distance of two weeks. Where possible, especially in the case of cats, it is advisable to isolate infected animals in a single area whose floor and walls that are easy to clean and disinfect. The environment should be cleaned regularly and disinfected with 1:10 diluted sodium hypochlorite (bleach).
If you think you or your child have a fungal infection on the body or the scalp, contact a healthcare center. Everyone you live together with should be examined so that everyone can receive treatment at the same time.
The infections usually do not heal by themselves but need to be treated with fungicidal drugs. In the case of ringworm, a cream is used, but sometimes it is necessary to receive peroral therapy. Ringworm of the hair is treated with tablets. Sometimes cream is also used in the scalp while with the tablets. It is important not to use the foil with the cream, as the effect can then decrease. An infected animal may need to be treated by a veterinarian.
When you or your child has ringworm and scalp, it is important to reduce the risk of infection spreading. For example, wash bed linen, blankets, towels, caps and veil at least 60 degrees C. Clean hair brushes and combs.
Infections are difficult to prevent. The fungus is contagious even before you get any symptoms.
But you can reduce the risk by:
- Look for the ringworm on the pets. The infection often looks like a skin stain where there is no fur.
- Avoid direct contact with someone who is infected.
- Do not share clothes, towels, hairbrushes or other personal things with others.
Treating ringworm with home remedies
Skin ringworm most often appears on the inside of the thighs, groin and buttocks. Its cause is the fungus from the group of dermatophytes, which develop in warm and moist parts of the skin, especially in the skin folds. Some symptoms of this infection include red rash, burning sensation, pruritus, and peeling of the skin. Mycosis is often present in people who are sweating intensively. More often, ringworm affects men, overweight people and people with diabetics. Treatment is best started as soon as possible to prevent the development of infection. Before you reach for expensive prescription drugs, try out affordable but effective home remedies.
1. Malva for Ringworm treatment
The first line homemade remedy against ringworm is to perform frequent washings of decongestant, anti-inflammatory and antifungal action. Malva is an excellent soothing, healing and decongesting aid thanks to its mucilage. Malva contains tannins, mucilage, anthocyanins, mineral salts, vitamins A, C and B1 and 2 active ingredients: malvina and malvidina. Malva has an important emollient and anti-inflammatory action on the mucous membranes with which it comes into contact, therefore being mainly taken in infusions, the major benefits are on the gastric mucosa. The mucilage present in the herb act as a viscous layer that protects the mucous membrane from irritating agents.
Malva washings: You can prepare the cleansing water with a malva leaf infusion that we will let cool or even cool for external use to add 3 or 5 drops (for 300 ml of infusion) of essential lavender oil. Lavender is a natural antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Malva bath: Prepare a malva decoction by following the recipe and dilute it in the bath water. Immerse yourself for at least 15 minutes.
Malva infusion: Place 5 grams of flowers or 10 grams of leaves in 1/2 liters of boiling water and leave for 10 minutes, then filter and drink.
Malva decoction: Place 30 grams of leaves in 3 liters of water and allow to boil for 20 minutes, then filter.
2. Sulphur and salicylic acid cream
Among natural products, sulphur and salicylic acid cream can be used, which has a good antifungal action associated with a stimulating and anti-inflammatory action that reduces healing times.
3. Calendula officinalis
Calendula is a common plant of the composite group. Its mother tincture is obtained from the aerial part (flowers and stem). The active ingredients of the plant are flavonoids, saponides, oleanoic acid derivatives, tannins (hypotensive activity), salicylic acid (platelet antiaggregating activity), carotene. Manganese exercises particular action that can be availed of in case of ringworm: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic. Alcohol preparation of calendula and triterpenic lattons have antimycotic, antiviral, antibiotic properties. Essential oils and organic acids boast coleretic action. The exterior use of this plant designates it as an excellent local antiseptic for bruises, acne geloats, eczema, ringworm sores and ulcers. Calendula is often found in the composition of creams, ointments and lotions x harden ·
4. Greater burdock (Arctium lappa)
Greater burdock is a plant of the Sunflower family. Burdock fresh roots, seeds and fresh leaves are used for decoctions (40-60 gr for 1 liter). The herb’s active ingredients are: tannins, essential oils, potassium, resins, a glucoside (lappatin) and an antibiotic principle. The main actions are: depurative, diuretic, diaphoretic, antiluetic, dermopathic, astringent, cicatrizant, healing, anaplerotic, and resolutive. In herbalist practice, bardana decoction is very useful for any skin lesions and sores. Other indications are: eczema, facial seborrhea, milk crust, open scarring tumors, abscesses, impetigo, insect bites.
5. Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
Heather is a plant of the Ericaceae family, freshly blossomed flower tops are mainly used in medicine (e.g. erica oil = macerate 100 g in ½ l of oil x 8 g). Active ingredients of heather are: arbutin, resin (ericoline), oil (erythinol), tannin, fumaric acid and citric acid, carotene, starch, gum. The active substances in heather determine its properties as follows: antiseptic, astringent, and diuretic. Remedy used to clean the skin in the case of skin fungi, acne, dermatitis, and burns. ·
6. Wolf’s bane (Arnica montana)
Wolf’s bane is a perennial mountain plant, the Sunflower family. It has a major action on the nervous system, it is a tonic, diaphoretic, spasmodic, fever, expectorant, and astringent herb. Active ingredients of wolf’s bane are: arnicina (resinous bitter principle), resin, tannin, malic acid, wax, gum, silicon, soap, essential oils, carotenoids and manganese. Its external use mainly involves use as a cream or ointment in the case of skin fungi, bruising, stuttering and stinging. A decoction with wolf’s bane is used for daubing the circular rash caused by ringworm. The herb can also be used in the case of acne and eczema.
7. Plantago lanceolata (narrowleaf plantain)
There are three different species of plants of the Plantaginaceae family, but all with the same properties: astringent, healing, depurative, diuretic, emollient, and expectorant. The active ingredients of plantains are: mucilage, tannin, iodine, potassium, magnesium, salicylic acid, oxalic acid and citric acid, glucides. For their astringent astringent action, they are used as ringworm rash and (dry leaf applications). Plantain is often used to accelerate scarring, sores, and insect bites.
8. Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Wild teasel is a plant of the Asteraceae family, of which the roots are predominantly used. The active ingredients of wild teasel are glucosides and mineral salts. The properties of wild teasel are as follows: purifying, sudorific and diuretic. For its purifying qualities, it is used as decoction in the preventive or background treatment of skin fungi, including ringworm,acne, eczema and other skin diseases.
9. Stemless carline thistle (Carlina acaulis)
Stemless carline thistle is a plant in the Asteraceae family. The herb grows adhering to the soil and for medicinal preparations use dried roots. Its active ingredients are: essential oils, inulin, tannin, resin, potassium salts, calcium and magnesium. The properties of stemless carline thistle are: scarring, cholagogic, diuretic, stomachic, sudoriferous. It is possible to prepare a lotion or milk to cleanse the skin in the event of skin fungi, acne and eczema.
10. Lavender (Lavanda officinalis)
Lavender is a plant of the family of the Labiate, of which blooming tops are used for many purposes. Active ingredients of lavender are: acetate and trace amounts of butyrate, valerianate, caprine and other compounds such as valerian aldehyde, tannins, a glucoside, an acid saponine, and ethyl n-amylchetone. The properties of this plant are antiseptic, stimulating, carminative, cicatrizing, cologne, insecticide. Lavender is widely used for various skin disorders: skin fungi, acne, eczema, pediculosis, sores etc. Lavender vinegar is used for refreshing baths.
Lavender has been known since ancient times and has already been used for the care and cleaning of the person (from which the name ‘lavanda’ stems, deriving from the Latin ‘lavare’ – ‘to wash’). Thanks to its emollient properties, lavender can alleviate problems with skin caused by ringworm. Lavender properties of lavender are attributed to the presence of cumarine, known substances in pharmacology and classified as hypnotic. Lavender is effective against all the disorders of the nervous system, such as headache, nervous cardiopathy, insomnia, asthma, cough, etc. This plant comes in many tonic, soothing, antispasmodic and stimulating remedies.
Lavender bath: Add several drops of lavender essential oil in the bathtub and submerge for at least 15 minutes. You can prepare the essential lavender oil following our recipes below.
Lavender skin cleanser: Lavender is very good for body cleansing, especially for the skin affected by ringworm. In this case, dilute a few drops of lavender essential oil in water and do abundant rinses of the affected area or the entire body. Alternatively, rinse the ringworm patch of the skin with lavender water, prepared following the next recipe.
Lavender infusion: Prepare infusion by combining a spoonful of lavender flowers and leaves in a cup of boiling water. Drink before bed to reconcile sleep.
Lavender water: To make your own lavender water, take 50 grams of flowers and submerge them in 500 grams of alcohol at 60° for fifteen days. Filter and store in a well-closed glass container. Another method to obtain lavender water is as follows: 10 grams of lemon essence, 10 grams of cedar essence, 15 grams of bergamot essence, 5 grams of rosemary essence, 10 grams of lavender essence, 2 gr of neroli essence, 30 gr of melissa tincture submerged in 2 liters of alcohol at 80°. Leave it for a few days to rest, then filter and store in a jar or bottle of dark glass.
Homemade essential lavender oil: Put 4 parts of neutral oil (almond, jojoba, soy or olive oil) in warm water and a portion of lavender flowers for 4 or 5 hours on a very low heat. When the oil is colored with a lively violet color of the lavender, you can turn off the heat and keep the oil in a jar of glass away from light and heat sources.
11. Tea tree oil for Ringworm
Tea tree oil has natural antifungal properties, which perfectly fights skin fungus. Used locally, it gives a clear relief from pruritus and reduces inflammation. Wet the cotton swab with a few drops of tea essential oil. If you have sensitive skin, first dilute the oil with a drop of liquid vitamin E, coconut oil or other vegetable oil in a ratio of 10-15 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of essential oil. Gently apply a cotton swab to the affected area of the skin. Wait until the oil soaks into the skin. Repeat the treatment 2 times a day until the symptoms resolve. For better results use a shower gel or soap containing tea oil or take a bath with water with a few drops of tea tree oil oil.
Swimming in salt water is the easiest and cheapest way to fight skin fungus. Salt accelerates healing of the skin while inhibiting the proliferation of fungi that are the source of the infection. Fill the tub with lukewarm water. Put two cups of salt and shake well. Take a half hour bath in this solution. Repeat the treatment twice a day for one month. Household salt can also be replaced with Epsom salt.
Garlic is widely known for its antifungal properties, so it is no wonder that it also helps cure skin mycosis. It suppresses fungi from proliferation, while bringing relief from itching and inflammation. Mix 3-4 garlic cloves in a blender with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. When the slice will have a homogeneous consistency, apply it to the affected parts of the skin. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day until the infection ceases.
Another way is to mix 5-6 crushed garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon of honey. Put the slurry on the skin and wait until it dries. Then rinse with water. Repeat the procedure twice a day until positive results are achieved.
Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 4-5 garlic cloves of garlic. Put the slurry aside for one day to “bite”. Then apply it to a thick layer on the affected parts of the skin.
In order to speed up the recovery process, take the garlic diet supplement and add the garlic to the food you eat.
14. Apple cider vinegar
This is another effective way to fight against skin fungus. The acidic reaction of apple cider vinegar helps to kill the fungus causing the infection and stop spreading it. It also “extracts” the moisture from the infected area, which speeds up the healing process. Prepare a solution of 2 glasses of water and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. First wash the infected area with an antiseptic soap and then wash it with a cotton swab soaked in the solution just prepared. Wait until the solution is completely absorbed. Then wash your skin with a damp towel and gently dry. Repeat the treatment twice a day for several weeks.
Fill the atomizer bottle with 1: 1 water diluted apple cider. Abundantly spray the solution with the affected parts of the skin. Leave to dry. Do it twice a day until the infection stops.
15. Nimtree (Azadirachta indica)
Nimtree, also called neem, is a plant that cures many skin diseases, including mycosis. It also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that accelerate the healing process. Mix equal quantities of powdered nimtree leaves and turmeric. Put the slurry on the affected parts of the skin. Wait until it dries and rinses with lukewarm water. Gently dry the skin. Use this spec once a day for several months.
Neem essential oil: Directly onto the skin infected with fungi, apply essential oil of neem. Massage it into the skin to soak into its deeper layers. Wait a few minutes, then take a bath. Repeat the treatment for several months.
Powdered neem leaves: You can also apply to the affected parts of the skin aloe gel (1 cup) mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of powdered neem leaves. Use once a day until the infection stops.
Onion has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, acts as a natural antibiotic. It will help you get rid of problems with mycotic skin. Take a medium-sized onion crushed in a blender to form a slurry. Apply it on the skin and leave for an hour. Rinse with lukewarm water and then dry with a dryer. Apply once a day until the infection persists. Add onions to dishes, salads and sandwiches. It will speed up the recovery process.
17. Listerine liquid
Listerine liquid not only refreshes the breath, but also perfectly fights skin fungus. Its antiseptic properties help to alleviate pain, pruritus and inflammation, and the alcohol contained in it kills the fungus that causes the infection. Therapy can be a bit painful at first, but the pain quickly disappears. Put a small amount of Listerine liquid into a bowl. Wet a cotton swab in it and wipe the infected skin. Leave to absorb. Repeat three times a day for several weeks.
18. Oregano essential oil
Oregano essential oil is a product of anti-microbial properties that reduces the presence of fungus and other types of microorganisms. We suggest to combine it with a bit of olive oil to enhance its soothing effects and give more moisturizing to the skin. The ingredients you will require are: 1 tablespoon of oregano oil (15 g), 1 tablespoon olive oil (14 g). Combine the two oils in a container and use the required amount of product to treat the fungus. Repeat the application twice a day every day.
19. Lemon with sodium bicarbonate
Slurry made with lemon and baking soda has major anti-microbial properties that inhibit the proliferation of dermatophytes and other types of fungi. To prepare this home cure for ringworm, take the following ingredients: the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of baking soda (10 g). Sprinkle the lemon juice and mix it with a spoon of sodium bicarbonate. When the slurry is ready, apply it to the skin to be treated and let it operate for about 5 minutes. Rinse and repeat the application until the mushroom disappears. After the end of each application, use a moisturizer to prevent drying the area. Apply the treatment in the evening to avoid adverse effects due to sun exposure.
The tannins contained in regular tea can help kill the skin mushrooms. In addition, tea has antibiotic and astringent properties that help to get rid of the symptoms of a fungal infection such as burning, swelling and irritation. Soak two tea bags in lukewarm water for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Apply the cold tea bags on the affected area. Repeat the process three times a day until the infection is completely eliminated.
21. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another effective remedy for mycosis. Its efficacy owes to natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Apply the infected skin pure coconut oil 3-4 times a day. You can also mix 1 teaspoon of this oil with 4-5 drops of oregano oil. Apply this mixture to the affected skin. Repeat 1-2 times a day until you notice improvement.
22. Aloe vera
Thanks to its energy and antioxidant effects, especially when taken by mouth in the form of juice, it is able to counteract the development of mycoses, providing relief in the event of itching. It can also be used with a gauze soaked in aloe vera gel and left to act for a few minutes, like an actual wrap, prolonging the treatment for a few days.
23. Baking soda
Baking soda is a home-made way to treat ringworm. Absorbs moisture from infected skin areas creating an unfavorable environment for the development of fungi. Neutralizes the pH of the skin, which speeds up the healing process.
Take a glass of baking soda, 2 glasses of Epsom salt and 1 glass of sea salt in a tub filled with lukewarm water. Mix thoroughly. Immerse yourself in the bath for at least half an hour. Then take a shower, and infected parts of the skin wash with antibacterial soap. Rinse with cold water and then dry with a dryer. Finally, apply a little coconut oil on the skin. Continue therapy 3 times a week for several weeks.
24. Olive leaf
Olive leaf has been proven to be a very effective herbal remedy for many skin infections, including those with fungal infections. 3-4 olive leaves should be ground or sliced. Apply it with a cotton swab directly to the infected skin. Leave for an hour and then rinse with lukewarm water. Gently dry.
25. Lavender and tee tree oil
Use lavender and tea tree oil. Tea tree oil and lavender oil possess powerful anti-fungal properties. By applying one of these oils to the ringworm, you can stop its development and kill the ringworm completely. Mix a measure of water with a measure of tea tree oil. Use this diluted tea tree oil solution twice daily on the affected area. It may take you up to four weeks to completely cure the ringworm with this method. Alternatively, apply a small amount of lavender oil to the affected area. You may have to wait a month before the ringworm is completely cured. If pure lavender oil is too strong for your skin, you can try diluting it with a little distilled water.
26. Aluminum salts
Try a solution with aluminum salts. Aluminum salts, for example aluminum chloride or aluminum acetate, are known for antiperspirant effects. You can buy aluminum salts in pharmacies. They block sweat production and relieve ringworm. Mix one measurement of this solution with measurements of water. You should apply the solution every to hours. It is advisable to apply the solution before bed, because the sweat production is lower during the night. You should rinse the solution before beginning to sweat too much. Repeat these steps until the ringworm disappears.
Practical advise on ringworm home treatment and prevention
Be partial about your hygiene
Take care of your hygiene. Good hygiene is an essential part in the prevention and treatment of ringworm. Take good hygiene habits, for example by washing your hands or washing your personal items, to treat this fungal infection, to avoid contaminating others and to help you not to catch it again Stay clean. Ringworm comes from a parasite that feeds on skin cells on the upper layer of the skin. By washing your face every day and washing your hands frequently, you can prevent the onset of ringworm.
Don’t skip washing hands
Wash your hands regularly. This is an excellent precaution to take if you want to avoid catching the ringworm. Use a mild cleanser or a simple soap to clean your hands after using the toilet or touching surfaces that other people touch. If you are taking showers in a gym or other locker room, you should wear plastic sandals to avoid getting ringworm on your feet or other areas.
Use antifungal shampoo
Use an antifungal shampoo for ringworm on the scalp. If you have caught ringworm on the scalp, use an antifungal shampoo that contains ketoconazole (e.g. Nizoral). This is a simpler and more effective method than other home remedies. You should consult your doctor if you have caught ringworm on the scalp, as you should also take oral medication. It might also be helpful to use a tea tree oil shampoo.
Wipe your skin with diligence
Wipe your skin well before wearing clothing. Make sure to let your skin dry completely after showering. This makes it possible to avoid wet environments which allow the proliferation of mycosis. You can dry your skin with a towel or by letting it dry in the air.
Avoid product containing yeast
For as long as you have ringworm, it is best to adjust your diet in a way that limits the foods favored by fungi, such as, for example, those containing yeast and sugar.
The combination of grapefruit seeds extract and bath salts are excellent in curing the ringworm with home remedies. You should use bath salts that contain natural sea salts. Mix the ingredients and apply directly to the affected area. Using a piece of gauze, cover the area to contain the mixture against the skin. You need to change the dressing twice a day. After the third day, the ringworm should be dried up.
Cloves are another well-known spice in our kitchens which has well known anti-morbid and anti-mitochondic properties. Cloves are miraculous in the treatment of dermatophytes and other skin fungi: for nails just use the pure essential oil and let it absorb with a small massage, but for the skin it is more delicate it is necessary to dilute the essential oil in olive oil and place it locally on patches several times a week. You will notice improvements soon.
29. Colloidal silver
Colloidal silver is an antibiotic that is entirely natural and can destroy hundreds of harmful microorganisms. It is excellent in healing ringworm. To treat ringworm with colloidal silver, just rub on the affected area if you have a gel, if you have a liquid, spray on. Let it rest and dry on the skin. To do this, twice a day until there are no more signs of ringworm,. It may take between several days to a month.
Myrrh has excellent anti-fungal properties. It is excellent in the treatment of ringworm. In order to treat using myrrh, you should make a paste by mixing equal amounts of myrrh, goldenseal, and water. Apply on the affected area three times a day until you have more ringworm rash circles. You should see a change after about four days and complete relief after about four weeks.
Turmeric possesses excellent antibiotic qualities. Use a juice extractor, extract the juice and apply directly to the affected area. Continue this way until the ringworm is completely gone. This can take from two to six weeks.
In a good size bottle, mix one part bleach and six parts water. Be sure to tighten securely. Soak a cotton well with the mixture. Apply on the affected area and leave it for about 15 seconds and then rinse. Do this twice a day. Within three to seven days, the ringworm should dry up.
33. Use talc to absorb excessive sweat
Use talc or cornstarch to keep the skin dry. These products absorb excess sweat. A reduction in the amount of sweat will help you avoid contamination by fungal infections.
Check your pet regularly
Domestic animals can often carry ringworm and transmit it to humans, so you should also check that your pet is not contaminated if you notice changes in its skin or fur.
Avoid sharing personal items. Ringworm is highly contagious. Do not share your personal belongings and do not share those of others. This will help to prevent the appearance of ringworm or possible reinfection. Towels and clothing can help spread the fungus that clings to the tissues. Hair brushes and combs can also transmit ringworm, so you should not share or borrow this kind of objects.
Do not overdress
Avoid over-dressing and stay cool. Whatever the time of the year, try not to wear too much clothes. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather to avoid sweating and create favorable conditions for ringworm development. During the summer, wear soft, breathing clothes. Cotton is an excellent option because it allows the skin to breathe. Wear several layers during the winter. If you start getting too hot or sweating, it will make it easier to remove clothes without getting too cold. Merino wool is a great option for winter because it keeps you dry and warm.
When medical help is indispensable
Your doctor will perform a physical examination to check for signs of ringworm and he / she will likely ask for a health history, including a list of factors to which you have been exposed in contact with humans or animals that may have ringworm. It may be difficult to treat ringworm in your home if you have a weakened immune system or diabetes. You should then see a doctor without delay.
Ringworm in dogs
Symptoms of ringworm in dog are very obvious as they are located at the level of the hair and nails, so in sufficiently visible areas of the animal. The area infected by the fungus leads to the fall of the hair in the circumscribed area, leaving signs of circular shape. Initially, this condition causes very itching and peeling of the skin itself. Usually the area tends to expand outwardly keeping the shape of a circle. In this regard, it is convenient not only to perform a preventative antimycotic treatment, but to periodically check the skin and hair of the neck, back, hind legs, muzzle and paws. In addition to crunching, there may be crunches, alteration of the nail structure, erythema and the like. As soon as you notice that the animal is affected by ringworm, the veterinarian will warn that he will pick up the material from the lesion, prepare the cultivated soil and after about 15 days the fungi will grow and be identified.
As stated above, the transmission of ringworm from one dog to another or to a human follows a very precise line. Contagion can occur in two ways: direct or indirect contagion. In the first case, the transmission of the fungus occurs by direct contact with the infected animal; indirect infection, however, occurs only when it comes into contact with fungal spores. The parasite prefers a particular season, a specific climate and temperature, so you must be careful during the autumn season during hot and humid climates. The ring is not manifested in specific dog specimens; it affects animals of all breeds, sizes, age, can also manifest in felines and humans; it usually attacks very weak specimens, with deficiencies in vitamins, weakened by a recent surgery, stressed dogs, or with a very low immune system.
Ringworm treatment for dogs
Ringworm treatment for dog follows two precise steps that the vet doctor performs according to the stage of the disease. Therapy can be topical or systemic. The first consists of Ketoconazole, enilconazole, econaol, miconazole and chlorhexidine based products. Usually, ointments are applied to the infected area with the aim of preventing the spread and propagation of the disease. Systemic therapy uses itraconazole and griseofulvin. In addition to these active principles it applies to the infected zone of formalin, chlorhexidine and enylconazole so as to disinfect the part well. After these therapies, always on the infected and desquamated areas, a piece of gauze is applied, if the area is limited to small areas of the dog’s body. In addition to the treatment, it is convenient to ensure that the environment in which the dog is clean and disinfected, not only to avoid relapse, but also because, since it is a contagious disease, the dog owner and his family members may be affected by ringworm fungi.
Ringworm in cats
The cat lark (or feline dermatophytes) is a common disease, sustained by pathogenic fungi that live on hair and skin of the animal. In particularly immunocompromised cats, dermatophytosis can be multifocal and even generalized.
Symptomatology is very variable: usually, the lesions resulting from the infestation are circular areas without hair, associated with the presence of dandruff and croutons. Early diagnosis is very important as there is a high possibility of contagion of people and other animals in contact with the infected cat. The treatment involves the administration of local and systemic antifungal drugs for at least 4-6 weeks, and environmental decontamination.
Ringworm is an infestation of mycotoxic origin worldwide. This disease can be easily transmitted to humans and animals in contact with the cat that has dermatophytic infection. Ringworm is in fact very contagious: the hair and the fungal spores that fall from the animal cause the infestation of the environment. It is not indispensable, therefore, for a direct contact to spread the etiologic agent: a cat can infest itself lying on a mat used by an animal infected a few days earlier. In more than 90% of cases, ringworm in cats is caused by Microsporum canis. This causal agent is recognized, in fact, in the domestic feline its natural reservoir (despite the term ‘canis’ may be misleading).
Rarely, infestation can be sustained by other dermatophytes belonging to the Microsporum genera (such as M. gypseum), Trichophyton (including T. mentagrophytes and T. terrestris) and Epidermophytom. These pathogens are occasionally detected in cats, with the possibility of getting out and coming in contact with rodents, bovines and equines.
Contagion occurs by direct contact with an asymptomatic carrier cat or with active dermatophytes. The transmission of the ringworm can also occur through materials contaminated by an infected animal, such as blankets, pet carriers, tools for grooming and transporting. The spores of the mycems are very resistant and can cause infection for several months after their production. Often, the cat can act as a simple mechanical carrier of these elements. This means that it does not have an active infection and has no visible skin lesions, but it contributes to spreading the disease.
The man is inflicted by direct contact with an infected cat or through the spores spread in the environment: the most affected areas are the face and arms, but sometimes the infection spreads to other bodily regions. The incubation period of the sword goes from one to three weeks.
Cat feline dermatophytes are found especially in younger cats, especially if immunologically debilitated, who live in close contact with each other and with poor hygiene. Ringworm is most commonly reported in cats with immunosuppressive pathologies (e.g. FIV), in large stray populations, long-haired breeds, and in roaming animals. Temperature is also a risk factor to consider: the ring is more common in hot and humid places. Regarding the geographical distribution, the disease is mainly found in tropical and subtropical climates. Factors that may favor the development of feline dermatophytes include malnutrition, concomitant infections, skin parasites and excessive or too frequent overeating.
Ringworm in cats has a variable clinical presentation. Classical lesions are localized or multifocal areas of alopecia (hair loss), with erythema and exfoliation (dandruff). Some cats also show itching licking, biting and scratching. At first, these symptoms occur mainly on the muzzle, ear pads, back of the nose and the front legs of the cat. Those sites are, in fact, the most exposed to any contact with the causal agent.
The first lesions can heal spontaneously in a few weeks, but others may appear in different locations. In long-spotted feline races, this fungal infestation can cause a rarefied hair diffuse; therefore, some areas of the body will present receding fur coating. In some cases, round-shaped areas with broken hairs can be seen. Some cats may also have pustules, scales and crusts.
Other possible events include:
- Allergic dermatitis (a reaction often associated with flea allergy, which involves small spreads on the cat’s body and hair loss);
- Generalized seborrheic dermatitis (especially in Persian cats);
- Folliculite with papules and comedones;
- Nodular lesions (pseudomychemistry and mycetoma);
- Pyoderma of facial folds;
- Conjunctivitis and blepharitis.
Sometimes, ringworm also involves cat nails, causing onomycosis and paronchy.
The diagnosis of cat ringworm is formulated by the veterinarian on the basis of several complementary investigations:
- Examination with Wood lamp: The fur of the animal is observed in a dark room with an ultraviolet lamp. The presence of green-apple fluorescence, typical of some M. canis strains, may suggest a positive outcome for the ringworm.
- Direct microscopic examination of the hair: consists of the tricoscopic observation for the detection of dermatophytes and their spores or to highlight changes in the structure of the cat’s fur.
- Cultivation for dermatophytes: Some hairs taken from the animal by tearing or brushing are placed in a culture medium specific to the growth of etiologic agents; after 1-2 weeks, the development of a fungal colony will confirm the suspected diagnosis and will identify the type of dermatitis responsible for the disease through microscopic analysis.
Ringworm treatment for cats
If the outcome of the veterinary visit is positive, it is possible to instill the ring-specific therapy immediately. The duration of therapy varies from weeks to months. First, the infected cat is immediately isolated from other animals (after the diagnosis of the sward, it should remain possible in an environment that is easy to clean and decontaminate).
Feline dermatophytosis therapy involves the use of an oral fungicide (such as itraconazole and griseofulvin) prescribed by the veterinarian for a period of at least six weeks. The systemic approach is to be associated with local treatments (lotions, shampoos or foam based lime sulfate, enilconazole or miconazole) to be applied twice a week. This latter option makes it necessary to grind the animal, as the spores attached to the cat’s hair, if not removed, may pollute the environment and infect people or animals.
After about 4 weeks, prior to discontinuing treatment, it is imperative to undergo a crop control check: if this is successful, it is necessary to continue the therapy in order to eradicate the infection completely. Healing is established after 2-3 consecutive negative mycotic cultures is carried out during 1-2 weeks.
Another factor to consider is the control of the environment in which the animal affected by a toad is staying during treatment. In particular, it is advisable to clean it daily with vacuum cleaners and wash your cat’s surroundings with diluted bleach in water at 1:10, leaving it in contact with the surfaces for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. This solution can also be used to clean potentially contaminated equipment and objects (carry cases, knees, mats, and brushes). Non-washable surfaces can be treated with specific spray antifungal products; what cannot be decontaminated, however, should be eliminated. In addition, if the room is equipped with air conditioning, it is advisable to disinfect the air vents and change the filters in the room.