Ringworm is a common skin disorder otherwise called tinea that can affect the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot), or the groin (tinea cruris, or “jock itch“). Ringworm is not, as its name recommends, brought on by a worm. It is caused by a fungal infection of the skin, and the fungis responsible for the infection are referred to as dermatophytes.
Detailed Description of Getting Ringworm From Cats and Dogs
The fungi that cause ringworm tend to grow in warm, wet areas of the body, such as areas of frequent sweating. Most frequently, ringworm results in itchy, scaly, and reddened skin and bald spots if the scalp or beard areas are involved. The infection is highly contagious and is passed from person to person through direct skin contact or by means of contact with contaminated products such as toilet posts, clothes, and even by infected shower or swimming pool surfaces.
Animals can also be impacted by ringworm and might send the condition to people. In this case, ringworm is an example of a zoonotic disease, or a disease sent from animals to people. Although cats are impacted by ringworm more than dogs, dogs are also typically impacted. In animals, ringworm causes raised, circular areas that frequently are crusted over and related to hair loss. However, some infected cats may also bring the fungus without revealing any symptoms. On the other hand, infected dogs generally show the normal skin symptoms of ringworm.
Research studies have revealed that as much as 13% of human ringworm infections (tinea capitis) are triggered by an organism that commonly causes ringworm in cats. Other studies have shown that in 30% -70% of households where a cat develops ringworm, a minimum of a single person will develop the condition. Children, the elderly, and people whose immune function is jeopardized for any factor are most susceptible to the infection.
Other animals that can establish ringworm (and can send the infection to humans) include dogs, cows, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, and horses. As with transmission amongst human beings, direct contact or contact with things the infected animal has touched (such as bedding, grooming short articles, saddles, furniture, carpets, etc.) is accountable for spreading the infection.
Ringworm is a treatable condition in both animals and humans. Topical (applied to the affected area) medication is the normal treatment for ringworm. In severe or resistant (not responding well to topical medications) infections, oral antifungal medications (taken by mouth) may be recommended. If a pet has actually been infected with ringworm, it is important to completely sanitize the home of rid the environment of any staying fungal spores after treatment.
Can You Get Ringworm From Your Pet?
Question: What is ringworm? Is it true people capture it from animals? What occurs when they do?
Answer: Ringworm normally appears as a red hairless patch on people or animals, typically in the shape of a ring. But it’s brought on by a fungus, not a worm of any kind. We vets are exposed to ringworm in our patients so frequently that getting a case of it ourselves is not uncommon. Thankfully, it’s ruled out a severe condition, in either family pets or people, even if it is an itchy one.
While you can get ringworm from a pet, you’re most likely to get it from another individual. Places such as locker rooms are common areas where the fungus may live, because moist, warm areas are an ideal breeding place for funguses. Protect yourself by using shoes in locker spaces and communal showers and by not sharing towels with anyone. (When you get ringworm from a locker space, it’s described as “athlete’s foot.”)
While dogs, cats and lots of other animals can get ringworm, cats are most likely to choose it up than other family pets. To avoid the fungus from dispersing, immediately take your family pet to the veterinarian for diagnosis, treatment and a method to avoid a repeat infection. Ringworm can certainly be unsightly and itchy, however it’s usually not tough to cure in people or animals, and is normally treated with cream and pills.