3 Steps to Ringworm Prevention

May 7th 2016

Proper hygiene habits and preventative measures can help to minimize the risk of contracting ringworm infections. However, it is always best for individuals who believe they have been exposed to the infection to consult with a medical professional.

Keep the Skin Dry

Ringworm thrives in moist areas and often develops in skin folds such as the groin area and under the arms. Immediately toweling off following baths and showers, applying baby powder or corn starch to the skin, and changing socks and underwear once a day can help to keep the skin dry and protected.

Wear Protective Footwear in Moist Environments

Ringworm infections of the feet are known to develop following contact with contaminated water, often present on the floors of moist environments such as locker rooms, public showers and public swimming pools. Wearing protective, waterproof shoes such as flip-flops or rubber sandals while showering or walking through locker rooms and pool areas can help to prevent the feet from coming in contact with ringworm fungi.

Wash Clothing, Towels and Bedding in Fungicidal Soap

Ringworm can be transferred to the skin via contact with contaminated towels, bedding, clothing and sports equipment. Individuals who believe they may have been exposed to the fungus and those who use shared fitness equipment at public gyms should wash all bedding, towels and gym clothing in hot water with anti-fungal laundry soap. Wiping down shared gym equipment prior to use can also help to prevent the spread of ringworm.

Avoid Direct Contact With Infected Animals

Animals can also develop ringworm infections and transfer the fungi to humans. A common symptom of ringworm in animals is fur loss that leads to bald spots on the body. Avoiding direct contact with infected animals can help to prevent transmission. It is important for pet owners to seek treatment for their pets if they suspect an infection.

Conclusion

Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes a circular, ring-type rash on the skin. Ringworm fungi feed off human keratin, a substance that is naturally present on the skin's outer layers. The infection can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp and nails.

When ringworm develops on the feet, it is referred to as athlete's foot. The infection can be easily passed from one person to another via skin to skin contact or sharing objects such as towels or combs. Individuals can also contract ringworm of the feet by walking barefoot in moist, contaminated areas such as locker rooms or swimming pool areas.

Ringworm infections can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as itching and pain, and can take up to four weeks to heal with treatment. Fortunately, ringworm infections can often be avoided by taking some simple preventative measures.

Sources

WebMD.com "Ringworm of the skin-prevention" http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/ringworm-of-the-skin-prevention
MayoClinic.org "Ringworm (body)" http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ringworm/basics/prevention/con-20021104
ModernMom.com "How to prevent getting ringworm" http://www.modernmom.com/2dfdc4a8-051f-11e2-9d62-404062497d7e.html
PeoplesPharmacy.com "Fighting fungus in sensitive places" http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/07/30/fighting-fungus-in-sensitive-places/

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