Ringworm Treatment: Prevention

Prevention is still the best ringworm treatment. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, ringworm is difficult to prevent. "The fungus that causes ringworm is common and contagious even before symptoms appear."

Below are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk of ringworm: 

Be informed and inform others. Be aware of the risk of acquiring ringworm from infected persons and pets. Educate your children about ringworm, and tell them what to look out for, and how to avoid infection.

Stay clean. Hygiene is important in preventing the spread of ringworm in your household. Wash your hands often, and encourage your children to do the same, to avoid the spread of infection. Always keep your hands and feet clean and dry. Shampoo your hair regularly, especially after every hair cut. Wear shoes or sandals all the time at the gym, locker rooms, and pools. Use sanitizers and disinfectants to clean common or shared areas in your house, at school, in child care centers, gyms, locker rooms, and in areas where you keep your pet cats or dogs.

Stay cool and dry. Avoid excessive sweating, don't wear heavy clothing in warm, humid weather. Dr. Stoppler observes: " Common recommendations along these lines are for men to wear boxer shorts, for women to avoid panty hose, and so forth. Whether these measures, some of which are quite difficult to implement, are really worth all of the effort is open to question. One thing is sure though: white socks (which are often recommended for athlete's foot) are not necessary!"

Avoid infected animals. According to Dr. Stoppler, cats are the most commonly affected pets. Often they show skin changes similar to those of affected humans. Look out for bald spots or patches of skin where fur is missing. In some cats, however, the symptom may not be visible. If you're not sure, bring your cat to the veterinarian to check for ringworms. Infected dogs, on the other hand, generally always show the typical skin symptoms of ringworm.

Treat your pets of ringworm or have them checked by a vet if you're not sure. Remember, ringworm infection does not create lasting immunity and you can be infected with ringworm repeatedly through continued contact with infected pets.

Don’t share personal items. Don't let others use your personal items like clothing, towels, hairbrushes, combs, gloves, and headgear. Of course, you too must make it a point not to borrow those items from others. To be doubly safe, wash and dry these items after every use.


Doctor's Pulse by Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler. Topics range from bed bugs, bee sting treatment, spring cleaning tips, night sweats, sleep, stress buster tips, fitness tips and more.
MayoClinic.com, "Tools for Healthier Lives" medical resource service by the highly-respected Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

No comments: