Ringworm means a disease of the scalp and hair caused by fungi, dermatophytes. These fungal infections that parasitize the hair, hair or beard can affect different parts of the body. These are benign but highly contagious infections that mainly affect children under 12 years of age. There are several treatments for ringworm control. Some apply locally (shampoo, lotion, cream) and others are administered orally (drug in powder form).
Description of ringworm
Ringworm is a dermatophyte; it is a kind of mycosis due to contamination by fungi (parasitic microorganisms) called dermatophytes. Ringworm develops at the expense of hair, hair. When the fungi penetrate the hair, they make them fragile and cause them to fall.
There are anthropophagic tones transmitted by humans, zoophile moths transmitted by animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, or telluric (geophilic, present in the earth) …
Mode of transmission of ringworm
The fungi are transmitted by direct contact with a person, an animal or indirect contact witheg a comb, a towel, a garment, the hair of an animal.
Symptoms of ringworm
The signs of ringworm vary according to the type of ringworm.
- The moths are the most common. They form relatively large (1 to 3 cm) patches of hair without sharp hair and most of the time is not inflammatory (neither read nor swollen). Other ringworms cause the formation of small plates without hair.
- The suppurated ringworm or kerion are at the origin of rounded area and quite wide, red and swollen, they too are without hair. They can be present at the level of the beard in men.
- Favored moths are extremely rare in Europe and North America. They form small yellowish crusts. Unlike other types of ringworm, hair that falls does not grow back afterwards,
In some cases, there is an increased volume of lymph nodes near the affected area.
Ringworm is a relatively simple disease to diagnose. Clinical observation allows the physician to examine the characteristic skin lesions and guide his diagnosis. In order to better visualize them and identify the responsible fungus, he can use an ultraviolet lamp called Wood’s light.
In order to precisely identify the kind of mushroom, he can take a sample. This sample will be analyzed under a microscope and cultured.
The treatment of ringworm is done after a sampling, and can be started without waiting for the results. It may be a treatment by the local route or orally.
- Locally: Local antifungal medications are applied to the lesions after shaving the hair close to this area.
- Oral: This is the taking of antifungal medications for 6 to 8 weeks.
In the case of a highly contagious infection, school eviction may be necessary and it is sometimes a legal obligation in France. The return to school then requires a certificate of non contagion.
How to prevent ringworm?
Some hygiene measures, on the other hand, make it possible to reduce the risks of contamination:
- Look for the cause of ringworm (contaminated animal and treat it to prevent transmission)
- Quick care of the child or the infected person.
- Avoid sharing of comb, towel, garment
- Get rid of the objects of an infected person
Complementary approaches to treat ringworm
It is possible to fight ringworm by adopting natural methods. All will be intended to exert antifungal action to fight against the parasite.
In naturopathy, we will focus on following adapted food hygiene. This includes removing foods containing yeast (bread, pizza, biscuits, fermented cheeses …).
In addition, it recommends the consumption of antifungal foods and more particularly garlic, propels and magnesium chloride (which can be used in local application).
In herbal medicine, it is recommended to take extracts of grapefruit seed, known for its powerful antifungal action. This remedy is used either in local application or sprayed on the scalp. In addition, it will be consumed daily for a few drops in a little water.
It is also possible to take sea buckthorn in the form of herbal tea.
In mother tincture, in local application, besides sea buckthorn calendula or thuja can be used.
Essential oils are mostly antifungal. Many of them can be used to fight ringworm. The most commonly used are lavender, tea tree, thyme, sage, rosemary or oregano.
They are used for a few drops in the bath or in local application, very diluted in a vegetable oil.