There are many types of fungi and bacteria that live on your body; some of them are good and some can be extremely harmful to your body when infections occur. Understanding the causes of ringworm is your best defense against treating ringworm. It is a common condition that affects many humans and animals during their lives.
The most widespread type of ringworm is a member of a group called “dermatophytes” and they live on the outside of the skin. Some types of the dermatophytes bacteria cause what we know as athlete’s foot, nail fungus infections, or infections on the scalp. The fungi thrive in an environment that is moist and warm and the areas of the body where you sweat are the most vulnerable for the fungi to grow. This includes the feet, groin and underarms. These fungi come into the skin either through a scratch or a cut.
Some of the more common causes of ringworm are:
Person to person – If you live with or are around someone who is affected by ringworm, you should avoid any type of close contact with them until they can be treated. The condition is transmitted very easily from one person to another.
Pet to person – Pets commonly suffer from ringworm because of their environment. Ringworm can be transmitted from your pet to you. It is most common in cats, dogs, horses, pigs or goats. If you have an animal suffering from ringworm it is important to have them treated and avoid close contact with the animals until they have been cured of the ringworm. You should also keep the animals away from each other to avoid any animal to animal infections.
Environment to person – Bacteria and fungi live in several types of environments and you can contract ringworm from other objects. You can pick up the fungi from clothes, towels, bed sheets, and shoes as these are perfect places for fungi to live and thrive. If you share these items with anyone, the risk is much greater for getting ringworm. To avoid getting ringworm from your environment, do not share your towels, combs or any personal items with others. Clean doorknobs, counters and tables with disinfectant and use a wash all your workout clothing after each use.
Dirt to person – In some cases, although rare, ringworm infections can be caused through soil that has been infected. For this to occur a person must have been exposed to the infected soil for an extended period of time; the soil would have to be severely infected for this to occur so the odds of a person becoming infected are very slim.
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