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Ringworm usually begins innocently. Ringworm is itching and burning, but we put that down to excessively dry skin. Meanwhile, these may be the first signs of ringworm.

Ringwormis an infectious disease caused by pathogenic fungi. The development of mycosis is favored by a warm, humid climate. It is easy to get infected, especially in summer. One person with ringworm can infect the entire family.

Ringworm spreads because the patient spreads microscopic scales that fall off the skin. They stay on the floor, in the carpeting, carpet, and hide between the hairs of towels. They eagerly nest in boards, e.g. docks over lakes, landings in boats, swimming pools, and in showers. They are there on standby, waiting for an opportunity to be transferred onto the human skin.

Mycosis - types

There are 2 general groups of mycoses:

1. Surface mycoses

They occur most often, mainly on hairless and hairy skin, nails and mucous membranes, e.g.

  • oral thrush
  • athlete's foot
  • scalp mycosis
  • athlete's foot
  • onychomycosis
  • mycosis of the penis

2. Deep mycoses (systemic, i.e. organ and generalized)

  • thrush of the urinary tract
  • mycosis of the lungs
  • esophagus thrush
  • oral thrush
  • vaginal mycosis
  • systemic mycosis

Occurring less frequently, but causing more severe discomfort, and may even lead to the patient's death .¹

Mycosis - causes

1. Candidiasis

The most common pathogen in the human body is Candida albicans, which causes the so-called candidiasis (thrush) of smooth skin and mucous membranes, as well as internal organs, central nervous system and lymph nodes .¹

2. Cryptococcosis

Mycosis is also caused by other yeast-like fungi. Of these, Cryptococcus neoformans is especially dangerous, causing cryptococcosis of internal organs and skin. It can cause meningitis and encephalitis in immunocompromised people .¹

There are also the so-called dermal fungi, i.e. Dermatophyta, which cause mycoses of the skin, nails and hair .¹

3. Mucormycosis

To otherspathogens include filamentous fungi of the order Mucorales, of the genera: Mucor, Rhizopus, Absidia, causing mucormycosis.

4. Aspergillosis (aspergillosis)

Other dangerous fungi are aspergillas, which are caused, among others, by infections of the respiratory system, esophagus, stomach or intestines.

Mycosis - risk factors

People with a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable to fungal infections, i.e .:

  • with diabetes
  • with neoplastic diseases
  • with immune disorders, e.g. in patients with AIDS
  • with chronic diseases, e.g. asthma, rheumatic diseases, requiring long-term use of drugs that may adversely affect the immune system
  • after organ transplants
  • in the elderly, because in people over 50, nails grow more slowly and the immune system is weakened
  • experiencing strong, long-term stress

or if there are other factors that increase the risk of infection. The factors increasing the risk of mycosis include: ¹

  • use of antibiotics, especially those with a wide range of effects
  • use of corticosteroids, cytostatics or immunosuppressants
  • use of chemical contraceptives
  • spraying some antibiotics, e.g. streptomycin or tetracycline on fruit orchards
  • adding antibiotics to livestock feed as growth promoters
  • environmental contamination with fungicides that increase fungus resistance
  • orthopedic defects of the feet causing toe contracture
  • wearing inappropriate footwear

Ringworm - how do you get infected?

Contact with fungal spores does not always contribute to the development of the disease. A he althy body can often fight a fungal infection on its own. However, even a slight imbalance in the body is enough for them to cause an infection. The infection can occur, for example, in :

  • wearing borrowed shoes (e.g. skates, ski boots) - the risk is even trying them on in the store
  • inhabiting large groups of people (hotels, hostels)
  • use of shared sanitary facilities (shower, toilet)
  • shared towels, combs
  • using the services of a hairdresser or beautician who disinfected the tools badly

Check what ringworm looks like!

See the gallery of 5 photos

Mycosis - symptoms

The symptoms of ringwormdepend on its types. For example, in the case of ringwormskin itchy and stinging tiny cracks at first. The skin around them becomes whitish, moist and fluffed.

Over time, the skin becomes covered with small, peeling blisters, it breaks easily and becomes susceptible to bacterial infections. There is pain, burning and a very bad smell. If it is delayed in starting treatment, the mycosis will spread to other parts of the body.

Worse in the case of systemic mycosis. I get symptoms such as

  • long-term fatigue
  • weakness
  • concentration disorder
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • flatulence
  • skin changes
  • joint pain
  • other infections

These are non-specific symptoms and are therefore usually not properly recognized by the patient or the doctor.

Mycosis - diagnosis

If mycosis is suspected, execute

  • microscopic examinations (e.g. fragments of a nail, hair, cuticle scales)
  • microbiological tests (culture)
  • serological tests (detection of antigens and antibodies)
  • imaging tests, e.g. x-rays - in the case of systemic mycoses

Mycosis - treatment

Mycosis should be treated by a dermatologist - independent treatments often end with a relapse. In the case of external mycosis, local treatment is usually initially applied. It consists in lubricating the infected area with a medicine in a cream or ointment.

If the mycosis persists, oral treatment is necessary. This is achieved by preparations that are taken daily, but there are also those that are taken with the modern pulse method. One pulse means using the drug for one week a month, followed by three weeks off. The treatment lasts 2-3 months and is fully effective.

Mycosis - prevention

The antifungal treatment requires patience - it cannot be stopped too early. Although the symptoms of the disease disappear fairly quickly, the fungi remain on the skin for a long time and begin to multiply again after stopping the medications.

It is also very important to prevent re-infection with fungi. That is why, e.g. in the case of onychomycosis or foot fungus, after the treatment is completed, the manicure tools should be decontaminated, old sponges, pumice stones and foot brushes should be discarded. The towels and socks used during the illness must be boiled well and the shoes disinfected. To do this, put them in a foil bag, put in it a container with 10%. formalin solution.

We close the bag very tightly. After one day, we take the shoes off and air them for the next 24 hours. Instead of formalin, you can usequinoxyzol (available for purchase without a prescription). Dissolve one tablet in a glass of water and put the cotton pads soaked in the solution into each shoe.

Do not wear someone else's shoes or use a shared towel, hair comb, etc. Be careful when using the bathroom, swimming pool, showers in public places (fungus easily settles on damp wooden grids)


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