Ringworm NZ – A Guide to the Medical Treatments for Ringworm

Even though the red skin patches caused by ringworm NZ are unsightly, they are not dangerous and are fairly simple to treat. The treatments for this fungal infection involve topical or oral antifungal medications. Your doctor will recommend the most suitable product for you taking into account the spread of the infection, the severity of the symptoms and the duration of their presence. Find out more about the main treatment options available to New Zealand patients.

Ringworm NZ: Over the Counter Medications

When the symptoms of ringworm NZ are mild to moderate and they have been around for a fairly short period of time, the doctor will most likely recommend an over the counter topical antifungal medication. The medication can be in the form of a cream, ointment or lotion. Medical practice has shown that a number of over the counter medications work most effectively. These include clotrimazole, miconazole and terbinafine.

It is important for you to keep the instructions for use of the ringworm NZ medication strictly. You must follow all recommendations from your doctor as well. That way, you will get of the red skin patches super quickly.

Ringworm NZ: Prescription Medications

In some cases of ringworm NZ, the doctor will prescribe a medication with a greater strength. This is typically done when the symptoms are severe, the red patches cover a wide section of the skin and/or the patient does not respond to the treatment with over the counter topical medications. The topical medications with prescription strength which are usually used by patients include butenafine, ciclopirox, terbinafine, clotrimazole and econazole.

Your doctor may prescribe an oral medication instead of a topical one. These drugs get to the infected cells through the blood stream and are often considered to be quicker to work and more effective as well. The medication prescribed to you may come in the form of a pill, tablet or capsule. The most commonly prescribed oral medications for treating ringworm NZ include griseofulvin, fluconazole, itraconazole and terbinafine.

The intake of oral antifungal medications may cause side effects in rare cases. These drugs may cause stomach upset, rash on the skin abnormal functioning of the liver. If you experience any strange symptoms, you must discuss them with your doctor. These antifungal drugs may also interfere with other medications that you are taking. That is why it is essential for your doctor to be informed about all of the medicines that you use.

Now you know everything about the main treatments for ringworm NZ and you can discuss the best option for you with your doctor.

Ringworm – What Is Ringworm and What Are Its Symptoms?

The cause of ringworm is fungus living in the topmost layer of the skin. The condition is not caused by a worm, despite the misconception caused by its name. The name of the fungal infection comes from the main symptom which it causes – red patches which are darker on the outside and lighter on the inside. These patches look like rings.

Ringworm: An Overview

Ringworm is a fungal infection which affects the epidermis of the skin. It occurs when a type of fungus called tinea grows and multiplies on the skin. The fungus can spread on any part of the skin including the scalp. The most common symptoms are the red skin patches which look like rings.

This fungal infection can affect people of any age. Still, it has been found that children are more likely to suffer from this condition. This is mainly due to the fact that their immunity has not developed fully yet.

Just like most infectious diseases, ringworm can be spread from one person to another. This can happen through direct contact and when people share unwashed clothing, combs and hair brushes and accessories such as bracelets, necklaces and scarves. The fungus can be contracted from shower and pool surfaces that have been touched by a person with the condition. Generally, the fungus thrives in warm and moist areas.

One important thing to note is that the condition can be spread from animals to humans and vice versa. Cats are common carriers of the tinea fungus. That is why if your cat develops ringworm, you must call the vet immediately to have the pet checked and to get instructions on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Ringworm Symptoms

The red patches that appear on the skin are the most significant symptoms of ringworm. These are red and raised. They usually become scaly and itchy soon after they appear. The patches are easy to recognise for their sharp and clear edges and for the less red centre which gives them the appearance of rings. In fact, the centre may appear perfectly normal and healthy while the outside ring is very red.

These red patches can appear on any part of the body from the fees to the head. If the condition affects your scalp, bald patches will appear eventually in case the condition is not treated. If the fungus attacks your nails, they will lose their natural colour and become thicker. They may crumble as well.

Now you know what ringworm is and what it looks like.

Ringworm – Ringworm Causes and Risk Factors

The more you know about a condition the better preventive measures you are able to take. This is certainly the case with ringworm, one of the relatively common fungal infections affecting the uppermost layer of the skin (the epidermis). Learn about the causes of the condition and the main risk factors in detail so that you can protect yourself and the people that you love.

Ringworm Causes

This condition is caused by a type of fungus called tinea. The fungus grows and multiplies quickly on the skin of the host. The microorganisms live in the cells of the epidermis and feed on the nutrients available there.

One of the main things which you should know about ringworm is that this condition is contagious. It can be easily spread in more ways than ones. It can be spread from one person to another. This usually happens with direct skin to skin contact and with the sharing of clothing, accessories, bedding, linen and towels and devices and tools such as combs. In rare cases, the condition can be spread through sharing facilities such as shower and cooking facilities and swimming pools.

The fungal infection can be spread from animals to humans too. Ringworm is quite common in cats, but it may also affect dogs, rabbits, ferrets and horses. Farm animals such as pigs and goats can also be carriers of the tinea fungus. The fungus can be spread through touch and through grooming.

Ringworm: What Increases Your Risk?

The fungus which causes ringworm thrives in warm and humid conditions. This is the reason why individuals who live or work in a warm, humid and crowded environment are at greater risk. People who sweat excessively are also more likely to develop the condition as their skin is moist and warm. Moisture and warmth are also present when a person is wearing tight or restrictive clothing. Hence such clothing puts you at greater risk ad well.

Participation in contact sport is another ringworm risk factor that you should take into account. If you play rugby or football, wrestle or do martial arts, you should certainly take all possible preventive measures to lower your risk of contracting this type of fungal infection to the very minimum.

People who share clothing, towels, bedding, linen and combs with an infected person are at the highest risk of getting this condition. The risk is quite high for individuals with weakened immune system as well.

Use what you have learned about the causes and risk factors for ringworm to get the most effective protection.

Ringworm – How Is Ringworm Diagnosed?

There are no serious complications associated with ringworm – the condition is perfectly curable. Despite these things, you should take action as soon as you notice the main symptoms – raised red patches of skin with a darker outer side which look like rings. These are unsightly and if they appear on the head, you will soon have bald patches. Arrange to see your doctor as soon as you notice the signs of the condition and you will get rid of it fairly quickly and easily.

Ringworm: When to See a Doctor and Preparing for the Appointment

The red patches of skin which are typical for ringworm are fairly large so they are quite easy to notice. It is best to arrange an appointment to see your general practitioner if you notice such a patch and it does not go away within a couple of days. In rare cases, individuals suffering from this fungal infection can develop skin swelling, drainage and high fever. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.

Your doctor will certainly ask you questions about the symptoms that you have in order to diagnose the condition more precisely. You should know when the skin patch appeared and how long you have had it for. The doctor may ask you about the activities that you enjoy, about pets that you have and about sharing object with other people to find out how you have contracted the condition. You should be able to provide detailed information.

Ringworm Exams and Tests

The patches that appear on the skin of patients with ringworm are distinctive and therefore fairly easy to recognise. That is why the first thing which the doctor will do is an examination of your skin. Sometimes, physicians use a specially designed blue light in a dark room to examine the red patches of skin. With this light, they may see the microorganisms glowing in the dark.

The doctor will perform a potassium hydroxide test also known as KOH test to confirm the diagnosis. They will take a small sample of the affected skin and examine it under a microscope. This test should show whether ringworm causing bacteria are present in your skin cells. If the doctor does not see the microorganisms under the microscope they will send the sample to be tested at a laboratory. This test is called a culture test and should be conclusive on whether you have this condition or not.

If you are diagnosed with ringworm, your doctor will recommend a treatment which you must follow to get cured.


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