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When Is Ringworm No Longer Contagious?

when-is-ringworm-no-longer-contagious

ANSWER:

Ringworm is no longer contagious when the rash has resolved.

More Info: The presence of a ringworm rash indicates the potential for transference to other parts of the body or other individuals. Ringworm is a highly contagious fungus inhabiting the hair and upper layer of the skin. There are dozens of parasites falling under the common name ringworm. A specific type, such as nail or hair ringworm, will not transfer to other areas.  Like any fungus, this one requires warmth and moisture for survival and reproduction.

 Sources of Ringworm

There are three methods of contracting the fungus that causes ringworm. In uncommon instances, it is transferred to humans from infected animals. More commonly, it is contracted directly from people carrying the infection or from warm and moist environments shared with infected people. This includes locker rooms and community showering areas. Ringworm outside of a host is destroyed by chlorine and salt water, so you are not likely to catch it from a properly maintained swimming pool.

Suppression is Cure

Any person exhibiting a ringworm rash is contagious. A circular pattern is characteristic for the rash, but it may also appear more generally as jock itch or athlete’s foot. The rash is inflammation alerting the individual to the presence of the parasite. Resolution of the rash either spontaneously or through treatment signifies the ringworm is no longer present. There are a few exceptions to this.

Secondary Complications

Ringworm causes complications in some hosts. This depends on the type of fungus. An infected scalp or hair will cause hair to fall out. Infected nails will crumble or become discolored. Some hosts develop an abscess or cellulitis. These conditions persist after the infection succumbs to successful treatment. The appearance of these conditions does not necessarily mean the person or animal poses risk of contagion.

 

Resources

“CDC – Symptoms of Dermatophytes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/dermatophytes/symptoms.html>.

“Hair Foundation: Scalp Conditions – Ringworm.” Welcome to Hair Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://hairfoundation.org/hair-care/scalp-conditions-ringworm.htm>.

“Ringworm of the body: Causes – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ringworm/DS00489/DSECTION=causes>.

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