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What is the best treatment for ringworm?
Ringworm is the name of a common skin infection that is caused by fungi. It doesn't have anything to do with worms, the name ringworm comes from the fact that the infected areas have the shape of a ring, they are circular, more colored towards the edge and less colored in the center.
The areas where ringworm appears are itchy and irritated, so the skin from the margins of the circle is a little irritated, so it resembles a worm.
Ringworm is very contagious and it spreads quickly in a warm climate, because warm and humid areas are the ringworm's fungi favorite places. It can be taken if you touch the skin of an infected person or if you touch an infected animal, for animals can carry it too. Cats are known to be the most common carriers of ringworm.
You can prevent being infected if you live in an area where ringworm has started spreading by always washing your skin, avoiding to touch things that might have been touched by infected people, and finally by wearing loose clothes that do not touch and press against the skin like tight clothing.
The symptoms of ringworm are the red itchy worm-shaped patches of skin that appear where the fungi develops but if they are not treated the infection can eat through the skin and reach the blood, infecting it too. In this case antibiotics are needed to kill the foreign organisms from the blood.
Ringworm has an incubation period of 4-5 days, after which the symptoms start to show up. You must visit a doctor as soon as you discover that you have ringworm, in order to avoid its spreading to other areas of the skin and to other people. The most common medication that can treat ringworm are special ointments and antifungal pills. The ointments must be applied to the infected areas of the skin until the ringworm goes away and afterwards, because some of the bacteria can re-appear.
It is very ease to diagnose ringworm, doctors usually do it by simply looking at the infected areas, sometimes a sample from the skin surface is taken and analyzed, but not too often. Since it's easy to put the ringworm diagnose most of the ointments are available without prescription. However asking for a doctor's opinion is recommended.
The pills are prescribed when the infection has spread to many places and something stronger is required. These should be taken only when the doctor advises you to do so.
If it's treated properly ringworm will disappear in a few days, and if it's not it will spread and irritate more and more areas of the skin, reaching deeper and deeper, so if you have ringworm start treating it right away.
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