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Characteristics of Ringworm of the Hands, Feet, Crotch and Armpits
Although ringworm of the hands, feet, crotch and armpits are generally referred to as ringworm of the body, they should actually be considered as distinctive subtypes and discussed separately, as their characteristics greatly differ from those of ringworm of the body. While ringworm of the body commonly refers to circular, ring-like lesions dispersed on random regions on the body skin, the previously mentioned subtypes of the disease are localized in particular areas on the body, often producing more intense symptoms and being more difficult to treat. In the absence of the appropriate medical treatment, ringworm of the hands, feet, crotch and armpits can lead to serious complications over the course of time, facilitating the occurrence of bacterial infections and other complicated skin conditions. When suffering from such localized forms of ringworm, it is advisable to see a dermatologist as soon as possible, in order to receive the specific treatment.
Ringworm of the hands and feet can be easily acquired directly, by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or indirectly, by exposing the skin to contaminated surfaces or objects (ringworm of the feet is often contracted from walking barefoot on floors that are contaminated with the causative infectious fungal organisms). Ringworm of the feet generally affects the skin regions between and under the toes, causing lesions that gradually grow in size, covering more and more skin over the course of time.
The first symptoms produced by ringworm of the feet are itching, irritation, soreness and deterioration of the epidermis. As the infection progresses, small blisters emerge on the entire area of the affected skin. The blisters characteristic to this ringworm subtype usually dry up, causing thickening and crusting of the skin. The progression of the disease is accelerated by moisture, ringworm sufferers needing to take action in preventing excessive sweating and avoiding prolonged exposure of the affected skin to wet surfaces (shower room floors, humid ground, etc).
Ringworm of the hands greatly resembles ringworm of the feet, and often occurs along with this subtype of the disease. Most often, ringworm of the hands occurs as a result of transferring the infectious fungal organism from the region of feet to the region of the hands. The symptoms produced by ringworm of the hands are almost identical to those caused by ringworm of the feet and both subtypes have similar patterns of progression.
Ringworm of the crotch and ringworm of the armpits also resemble the previously described forms of the disease, the only notable differences consisting in symptomatic intensity and duration. Ringworm of the crotch and ringworm of the armpits are caused by the same infectious fungal elementals responsible for causing ringworm of the feet and hands, and they often occur together. Ringworm of the crotch and armpits produce intense itching, inflammation and irritation of the skin, blisters and sometimes even pronounced scaling. In the absence of proper treatment, ringworm of the crotch and ringworm of the armpits can rapidly degenerate into severe skin conditions, facilitating the occurrence of persistent bacterial infections. Although they are caused by the same fungal organisms, ringworm of the armpits and ringworm of the crotch are usually more severe than ringworm of the hands and ringworm of the feet, requiring treatments with strong antifungal medications.
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