There are many myths surrounding ringworm and one of them is that signs of a ringworm infection will appear right away. This is patently untrue. Like the majority of skin diseases, it takes time for a ringworm infection to manifest itself. The incubation time for ringworm in humans depends a lot on where the infection appears.
- Tinea corporis (ringworm of the body): It can take two days or more for the rash to appear on the skin.
- Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp): It typically takes about two weeks for signs of a scalp infection to appear.
- Tinea unquiet (ringworm of the fingernails and toenails): It can take a month or more for ringworm symptoms to show up.
In general, though, a ringworm infection will take anywhere from 2 to 21 days to manifest and it can persist for years if you don’t take action to eradicate the disease. It is also highly contagious. A person can pass the infection on to others for as long as the lesions are active on the body.
How Do You Get Ringworm?
Ringworm in humans is acquired most often by contact with contagious people or contaminated objects. Children are more susceptible to certain types of ringworm, but anyone of any age can become infected. The skin disorder is caused by fungi called dermatophytes which live on the skin in small amounts. They also thrive in damp warm places like showers and pool areas. People who live in hot humid areas experience more infections than those who live in cool dry areas.
Other ringworm causes include pets. Outdoor cats and dogs are especially susceptible because of their contact with other untreated animals. Petting an infected animal is a surefire way to get ringworm. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether or not an animal has ringworm, but one telltale sign is bald spots in the fur. If the family dog or cat suddenly starts losing fur for no reason, have them checked immediately by a vet for ringworm.
You are more likely to get ringworm in other areas of your body if you have an existing infection. For example, if you already have athlete’s foot or jock itch, you are more likely to get ringworm of the body. This can mainly be attributed to touching the affected body part and not washing your hands before touching other body parts.
Lastly, people with compromised immune systems are more likely to contract ringworm infections. The dermatophytes that cause ringworm live on the body already. However, the immune system usually keeps the fungus in check. If it is compromised in any way, it cannot properly do its job. Additionally, the fungus love sugar. People with diabetes and high blood sugar levels are also at a higher risk of developing ringworm.
Ringworm Symptoms in Humans
Treating ringworm requires properly diagnosing the problem. Signs of ringworm include:
- Tinea corporis: Red raised rash; Small bumps or blisters may form on the border; itching
- Tinea capitis: Reddening, scaling, and crusting of the skin; hair loss; small black dots in the area; swollen lymph nodes; children may develop a fever
- Tinea pedis (foot fungus): Peeling skin on the foot and between toes; intense itching or burning; moist skin between toes, dry skin everywhere else
- Tinea cruris (jock itch): Rash that is very distinct around the edges; blister-like bumps; reddish brown in center of the rash; itching; pain
- Tinea unquiet: The nail plate will turn black, brown, or green; nails will lift off the nail bed and become misshapen
If you are not sure if what you have is ringworm, have the rash checked by a qualified medical professional. You can also find pictures of the different types of ringworm online that can help you with your self-diagnosis. Be aware, though, that some of the photos can be pretty graphic.
Ringworm Treatment for Humans
It is possible to get rid of ringworm fast if you use the right treatment. We conducted extensive research to find the best ringworm remedies that worked to eliminate the fungus quickly. The products we found are made from natural ingredients that work with the body’s immune system to kill the infection from the inside. To find the best product for you, go to the homepage to read our comprehensive and neutral reviews of the top products available.