So, it’s been quite a few days since you have been suffering from ringworm? Yes, ringworm can be quite a distressing experience. It can also be a cause of embarrassment at times.
Hence, are you asking, how do you know if ringworm is healing?
Experiencing healing symptoms can indicate you are recovering. Few healing symptoms include less itchiness, the appearance of flaky skin, oozing skin sores, yellow crust formation, a decrease in redness, leveling off of the skin, and no new patches. If you are still confused, we have discussed each of them below.
Read along with the following article to ease your doubts.
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How Do You Know If Ringworm Is Healing?
Ringworm is a very common fungal infection that can infect people of all age groups. As its name suggests, it can cause red, small ring-like rashes on our skin and different body parts. However, rashes caused by ringworm are not always circular in shape and sometimes the rashes can resemble a hickey.
Other symptoms of ringworm include-
- Dry, scaly skin
- Raised, cracked skin
- Itchiness around the rash
- Inflammation around the edges
- Pus-filled sores
It is essential to know about the healing symptoms of ringworm to ensure that your treatment is working and you are recovering.
It usually takes about a month for a ringworm case to heal with the appropriate treatment.
A ringworm case that is healing will exhibit a gradual easing of the symptoms experienced. Few healing symptoms are discussed below.
Symptom 1: Less Itchiness
After starting your treatment against ringworm, you will gradually feel less itchiness and a burning sensation around the infected areas.
The rashes or sores will not clear away so soon. However, the rashes will appear less irritated than before. Your urge to itch or scratch the rashes will not vanish but lessen a little as the infection clears away.
Even if you start feeling better, it is essential not to stop your treatment at this stage.
Symptom 2: Appearance of Flaky Skin
Another indicating symptom that your ringworm is healing is the appearance of flaky skin. The skin appears dryer and can peel away into thin and small flakes. The area can feel rough and a little rigid.
Flaky skins indicate that the fungus is not getting its required moisture content. Depriving the fungus of damp and musty conditions will slow its growth.
This can cause slight itchiness in that area, but this is because the patches of skin around the infection are drying up.
It is advised not to use any lotions or ointments to ease the dry areas of infection without your doctor’s recommendation. The lotions or ointments can, in some cases, worsen your ringworm.
Instead, wash the infected areas with warm water and dry them. You can use a soft and clean cloth to pat dry the area.
Symptom 3: Oozing Skin Sores
Oozing helps our body get rid of foreign substances and flush out infections. It is common with other infections and wounds and with ringworm to cause oozing sores.
Oozing sores can be another sign that the ringworm infection is clearing. However, oozing sores for an unusually long period (in this case, more than 2-3 weeks) can be indicating that the infection is getting worse. Contact your doctor if this is the case.
Often people tend to puncture the blisters. However, this might cause other bacterial infections to build up in that area.
Symptom 4: Yellow Crust Formation
After the affected area oozes clear or yellowish liquid, it can be followed by a yellow crust formation.
So, if you are still asking whether your ringworm is healing, then yes, forming of yellow crust do indicate that they are healing.
Do not scratch the areas to prevent the ringworm from spreading to other areas. Continue to apply whichever ointments have been prescribed to you.
Symptom 5: Decrease In Redness
At this stage, the skin starts to appear less red. There can be minor blemishes. However, the redness will gradually decrease in-to your skin color.
In some cases, the infected patches can be brown. It slowly turns into light red or pink during healing and finally clears off.
At this point, most patients tend to stop their treatment. However, this can result in the infection rising again.
Symptom 6: Skin Levels Off
Another way to know if your ringworm is healing is that the raised patches of skin feel non-elevated and level off with the rest of the skin.
Symptom 7: No New Ringworm Patches
One of the final signs to help you know if you are healing from ringworm is no appearance of new ringworm patches. The existing patches start to get smaller and eventually disappear into the skin.
The most important thing to keep in mind is not to stop the treatment as soon as you see some of your symptoms alleviating. Continuing the treatment is essential to get rid of the ringworm infection completely.
Ringworm: All You Need To Know
So, now that you know the healing symptoms of ringworm, it will be easier for you to determine whether your ringworm is getting better or worse.
To help you get a more precise understanding, below, we have discussed a few more details about ringworm.
Ringworm is a very contagious disease. It can quickly spread from one part of your body to the other due to itching. You can pass it on to someone else, and they, in turn, can infect others, including yourself.
Ringworm can affect both humans and animals. If you have pets at home, you might be slightly more prone to contracting ringworm.
Ringworm can be caused by different types of fungi, including Trichophyton, Epidermophyton, and Microsporum.
You can get ringworm if you have been near an infected person, infected animal, or had direct contact with soil. Using items used by a person with ringworm is another probable route of catching ringworm.
Ringworm can affect many areas of the body. Often ringworm is known by different names depending on where the infection has occurred.
- Ringworm of the scalp(tinea capitis)- flaky, itchy, and reddish patches develop on the scalp. The hair on that area can become brittle and fall off easily.
- Ringworm of the body(tinea corporis)- circular or irregular patches develop on the arms, legs, or trunks.
- Athlete’s foot(tinea pedis)- athlete’s foot causes dry, itchy skin on your feet, toes, and on the skin between your toes. Callus may also form.
- Jock Itch(tinea Cruris)- this ringworm refers to reddish rashes to develop in the groin area.
- Ringworm of the hand(tinea manus)- ring-shaped rashes develop on the back of your hands, on the palms, or fingers.
- Ringworm of the nails(tinea unguium)- ringworm can occur on the fingernails and toe- tails. The nails can become discolored and may break off easily.
- Ringworm of the face(tinea faciei)- distinguishable, round patches forms on the face. The patches are usually itchy and scaly.
- Ringworm of the beard(tinea barbae)- ringworm of the beard can cause the skin on that area to flake off and become crusty. The beard can also become brittle and break off. Often the ringworm of the beard causes raised rashes similar to acne.
Often it gets difficult for us to distinguish ringworm from other skin infections with very similar symptoms. Your doctor can help you get a correct diagnosis.
Often samples of skin treated with reagents like potassium hydroxide are viewed under a microscope to look for the presence of fungal cell elements.
A fungal culture often follows a close examination of the infected skin in the laboratory. For the fungal culture, a small sample of your skin is sent to the laboratory to check if fungi are present.
Common medications for athlete’s foot, ringworm of the body, and jock itch include anti-fungal creams, gels, sprays, and ointments. Clotrimazole and miconazole are common antifungal creams.
Ringworm of the scalp and nails can often become very severe due to the infection penetrating deeper layers of the scalp or nails. It can cause extensive hair loss and damage. One might need to be treated with oral medications to clear away infections completely. Anti-fungal shampoos can be used to kill fungus on the scalp.
Several home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and turmeric are also effective against ringworm.
However, depending on the home remedies alone might not heal your ringworm fully. It is always advised to take proper medication prescribed by your doctor to treat ringworm. In addition to prescribed medicines, home remedies can help you ease your symptoms quicker.
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure,’ let’s look into a few tips that will help us avoid this painful experience of ringworm
- Avoid areas such as public washrooms
- Wear protective shoes like flip-flops in public washrooms
- Wear gloves if you are treating one of your family members or pets infected by ringworm
- Wash your hands after touching your pets
- Wear clean, light, breathable clothes such as cotton underpants and socks
- Do not share hairbrush, towels, toothbrushes, and other personal items with anyone
- Disinfect your home and workplaces, and pet living areas regularly
- After the gym and strenuous activities, use soap and warm water to clean the body. Dry the skin before putting on any clothes
- Avoid close contact with people having ringworm
If You Already Have Ringworm
- If you have already contracted ringworm, you can follow the below tips to help you recover sooner or prevent re-infections.
- Wash your clothes every day with hot water or anti-fungal soap
- Do not vigorously itch the ringworm rashes. Itching an infected area and touching other body parts can spread the infection
- Change bedsheets everyday. Fungal spores remain on the bedsheets and can cause the infection to spread to other body parts
- Change wet underwear and socks
- Do not stop treatment before your doctor instructs you to do so
- Eat food that boosts your immune system, such as green vegetables, almonds, garlic, green tea, etc
- Take vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A can help promote healthy skin renewal. You can take the approval of your doctor before starting on the supplements.
- See your doctor if the ongoing treatment is not improving your condition even after 2 weeks
How long does it take for ringworm symptoms to appear?
Symptoms of ringworm can appear with a week or two after getting in contact with the source of infection.
How long does it take to recover from ringworm?
A ringworm case typically takes about a month to heal. However, many infections do not clear away easily and prolong for several months.
Can you use alcohol or antiseptic to treat ringworms?
Rubbing alcohol or antiseptics do not cure ringworm. Instead, they might make the infection worse. Anti-fungal medications are required to treat ringworm.
Can you cure ringworm without medical treatment?
Most cases of ringworm cannot be healed without anti-fungal medications. However, home remedies are effective in easing the symptoms.
The healing symptoms discussed above can help you answer your question, how to know if ringworm is healing? Ringworm is a very uncomfortable disease but keep in mind that it is completely curable if proper instructions for treatment are followed.
If you are not sure whether you have ringworm and experiencing similar symptoms, contact your doctor for a proper examination. Your doctor will help you with a suitable treatment plan according to your diagnosis.