If you are someone who regularly suffers from dry and irritated skin, it can be difficult to tell regular dry skin apart from ringworm at first. That said, if you know the telltale signs it is surprisingly quite easy to determine whether you have ringworm or dry skin. If you’re experiencing itchy, dry flaky skin and wonder if it could actually be a ringworm infection, read on and find out how you can tell the difference.
What Does Ringworm Look Like?
The most recognizable ringworm symptom is a red ring-shaped rash. The area around the skin is usually itchy and uncomfortable. Ringworm usually appears in warm moist areas like the groin, inner thigh and sometimes the scalp.
Though the skin in the area can appear as dry, flaky skin patches, they will be characteristically ring-shaped.
What Does Regular Dry Skin Look Like?
On the other hand, dry skin will not be nearly as red as ringworm. It will usually present as regular, lighter-colored dry skin patches. It is also very unlikely that these dry skin patches have the same ring-like appearance as ringworm.
The skin may be flaky, hardened or have a sheen to it. However, while it may feel itchy, it shouldn’t feel as inflamed or irritated as ringworm.
The causes of ringworm are different from dry skin. Ringworm is a skin infection caused by the tinea cruris fungus. Tinea cruris is the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot infections, which is why if you have athlete’s foot or come into close contact with someone who has the infection you may develop a ringworm infection.
Sometimes, if you have athlete’s foot and you put on a pair of pants before putting on your socks, it’s easy to directly spread the fungal infection to other areas of the body, like the groin, causing a ringworm rash to develop.
Is Ringworm Contagious?
Ringworm is a highly contagious skin infection that easily spreads from person to person. Warm, humid and damp places like the gym are where you’re likely to catch the fungal infection by walking around barefoot or by sharing clothing or towels.
Which is why it’s important to never share personal items like towels, socks and gym clothing. It’s best not to lend other people your items or borrow from others.
To prevent the fungus from living on fabrics and spreading to other parts of your body or to others, you should also wash gym clothing, towels and sheets regularly.
Ringworm Prevention Tips
Practicing good personal hygiene is important for preventing all fungal skin infections, including ringworm.
• Following an intense workout or full workday, always shower. Wearing the same sweaty clothes without showering provides the optimum conditions for the fungus to take hold. Read more about preventing ringworm at the gym.
• After a shower dry yourself thoroughly with a clean towel and avoid sharing or borrowing towels from others. That way if someone you play sports with or who lives in the same household has a ringworm infection, you’ll be less likely to catch it from them.
• Don’t leave damp, sweaty clothes lying around for too long. Leaving sweaty gym clothes, sneakers or socks in gym bags, or simply in piles around the house, provides ample opportunity for the fungus to multiply.
• Treat your athlete’s foot infection. Having an untreated athlete’s foot infection is one of the leading causes of ringworm. If you suspect you have athlete’s foot, you should start a treatment plan as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body and developing into a ringworm infection. For more details on treating athlete’s foot, read our blog Choosing the Right Athlete’s Foot Treatment.
How Do I Get Rid of Ringworm?
If you know that you have ringworm, it’s best to act fast and begin the treatment as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body or other members of your household.
Sometimes if you don’t treat ringworm, the skin infection can turn into a chronic condition and become harder to get rid of. Which is why as soon as you suspect you have the fungal skin infection you should begin treatment with an antifungal cream for ringworm.
What Cures Ringworm Fast?
We recommend SilkaⓇ Ringworm Cream. The formula, with active ingredient, clotrimazole, prevents the growth of fungal cells by changing the cell wall permeability, thereby curing most ringworm.
When applied consistently according to the product’s instructions, the infection should disappear within 14 days. Remember that if the infection persists even after consistent application, you should see your doctor for a personalized treatment plan to eradicate the infection.
Equally if you have any pre-existing conditions or have a compromised immune system, you should seek out specialist medical advice to help eliminate the fungal infection.