Dermatophytes are the fungus that cause ringworm.
More Info: Similar to mold, dermatophytes that live on the top layer of your skin cause ringworm, a circular rash that is often red in color. The rash may become scaly or inflamed, especially if you scratch the area.
How Do You Encounter the Ringworm Fungus?
Ringworm is very contagious and is often spread through human contact. This occurs when your skin is exposed to someone that has the microorganisms on his or her skin. More ways that are common are by touching an object that someone with ringworm has touched recently or by grooming an animal with ringworm. Another less likely way people encounter the fungi is through soil that is infested with the dermatophytes. This is rarely the case since it requires prolonged contact with dirt that is highly infected.
How to Kill the Ringworm Fungus
Over-the-counter medications are readily available in discount stores and pharmacies. These are often quite effective if the rash is not severe or covers a large area. If the over-the-counter medicine does not help the rash within a couple of days or gets worse, it is appropriate to contact your doctor. He can prescribe an ointment, cream or even a pill or capsule to take by mouth.
Preventing Ringworm Fungus
Washing your hands often and practicing good personal hygiene are some of the best ways to prevent ringworm. During warm, humid weather, wear lightweight or cotton clothing to prevent excessive sweating. Avoid sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, hats or hair grooming tools. If you have pets that have patches of fur missing, have them treated by a veterinarian since this may be a symptom of ringworm.
“Ringworm of the body – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ringworm/DS00489
“Ringworm – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Ringworm.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/ringworm-of-the-skin-topic-overview>.