Looking to Get in Shape or Lose Weight? Try our BMI and Weight Loss Calculator!

Ringworm Life Cycle

By Diana Beall ; Updated March 16, 2018

Many people do not realize that the ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is actually a fungal infection that is found anywhere on the body of animals and humans. According to Mayo Clinic, ringworm is one of many causes of hair loss on the scalp of humans.

Life Cycle

An infected animal sheds ringworm spores. These spores can exist in the environment, such as in mud, bedding and food, for more than 18 months. Ringworm symptoms appear within 10 to 20 days after initial contact with the fungal spores.

Symptoms

The fungal infection can develop on the body, but especially under fingernails and on feet. Ringworm skin lesions normally begin as distinctive, reddish round areas of hair loss, which may progress to reddening, thickening and loss of pigmentation to other skin areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that rash can be dry and scaly or wet and crusty.

Treatment

Infected areas must be kept clean. Treat with an over-the-counter fungal product, such as Lamasil. Prescription topical products or pills can be used to treat ringworm in severe cases.

Prevention

The best prevention is to avoid animals that have or are being treated for the fungal infection. Also, keep skin and feet clean and dry, shampoo regularly, wear sandals or shoes at gyms, lockers and pools, and do not share clothing, towels and personal-care items with other people.

Health Risk

Ringworms can be transmitted to humans from pets, from one person to another by direct contact or by contaminated combs, unwashed clothing and shower or pool surfaces.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

More Related Articles

Related Articles