Ringworm Treatment in Clark, Kearny, Jersey City, Teaneck, West NY, New Jersey and Staten Island New York.
Ringworm is highly distinguishable by the ring-shaped rash it creates. In many cases, it can be treated with over-the-counter medications, but to be sure that what you have is actually ringworm, contact Metropolitan Dermatology for a consultation before beginning treatment. We have three offices serving patients in Clark, Kearny, and Teaneck.
First, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus (Tina Barbae) that lives on the skin's top layer and in and around hair follicles. The fungus grows predominantly in areas that are warm and damp, such as locker rooms or swimming pools. On the body, they prefer skin folds and other areas that are warm, such as between the toes and in the groin area. Jock itch, athlete's foot and ringworm are all related fungal infections.
Ringworm is contagious, which means that you can contract it by having contact with a person or animal that has the fungus. It can also spread when you share towels, clothing or sports equipment with someone who is already infected.
Signs and Symptoms
Ringworm typically causes a rash that may:
- Become red
- Become scaly
It can form on the hands, feet, or the torso. Just about any area of the body where mositure is trapped or areas where you perspire are highly vunerable to fungal infections.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Normally your doctor or dermatologist will be able to tell ringworm from its distinctive shape, but if there are questions about the diagnosis, a skin scraping may be taken and examined microscopically to confirm. Most cases of ringworm can be treated successfully with antifungal creams or lotions, but for extremely persistent infections, your physician may need to prescribe an oral antifungal drug.
In addition, if you've scratched the rash and it's become infected, your doctor may prescribe specific antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading. Taking the full dose of an antifungal treatment, including both prescription and over-the-counter creams and ointments, is important to ensure the fungus is truly eradicated. Don't stop using a product simply because the rash has disappeared and use any prescribed medication for the entire recommended course.
Outcomes and Follow-up
Most fungal infections will disappear within two to four weeks. Don't delay treatment as infection can easily spread and become much more difficult to treat.
To prevent future infections:
- Keep your skin clean and dry.
- After bathing or showering, dry your skin thoroughly and allow time for your skin to air-dry as well.
- Change underwear and socks once a day and more often during warm weather, especially if you are predisposed to ringworm, athlete's foot or jock itch.
- Wear clothing that is loose-fitting and made of naturally fibers that breathe, like cotton and wool.
- Don't share clothing, towels, sheets or sporting equipment.
- Wear flip-flops or other footwear while in locker rooms or public showers.
- Shower following sports or other activities that involve skin-to-skin contact.
If you have ringworm, dry the affected area last and do not reuse the towel until after it has been washed in hot water. Additionally, if your pet has patches or spots where hair is missing, take it to your vet immediately so it may be treated and you can avoid catching a fungal infection yourself.