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Ringworms are caused by fungal infections that are capable of growing in hair, skin and nails. There are various signs of ringworms such as

  • Raised, shedding skin
  • Grey-whitish or red discolouration
  • Crusts
  • Abces in deeper skin regions

There are two types of fungal infections of the skin that can pass from animals or humans. Once infected, the fungi multiply in dead skin cell. Moist, dark regions of the body are favourable locations to multiply.

The GP will ask about

  • localisation of the skin disorder
  • how long the symptoms have been around
  • If there are other people infected (school children, family members)
  • any contact with animals (cats, dogs, horses or rodents) who also have skin diseases

Treatment is based on symptoms and signs of this condition and consists of

  • Imidazole local ointment twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks; can be continued for another week
  • Terbinafine 250mg tablets once a day taken orally for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Iconazole 100mg tablets once a day, taken orally for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Selenium sulphide shampoo applied to the scalp twice a week for 8 weeks

Fungal infection of the scalp is very contagious. It is important that family members avoid using the same combs or shavers. It is also advised not to share the same bed if someone has ringworms of the scalp.