Chronic Ringworm

Chronic ringworm is a severe skin infection caused by a skin fungus referred to as dermatophytosis. It mainly affects the surface of the skin and scalp, and it thrives in moist and warm areas.


Ringworm is a rampant skin disorder. The fungus causing it usually live on surfaces such as locker room floors, human skin, household goods like bedding, towels, and clothes. While there are different forms of ringworm, the common one affects:

  • The scalp
  • Skin
  • Groin
  • Feet
  • Nails
  • Beard
  • Hands
  • Face

Dermatophytosis usually attack dead tissues in nails, leftover dandruff and hair. Local bacterial infections and the reaction of the human immune system make the ringworm grow.

Severe ringworm is not common since symptoms are treated easily. Chronic cases are as a result of an individual failing to complete treatment prescribed by a doctor.

Symptoms of ringworm manifest in the entire body of a person, the scalp included. If it affects a beard or the scalp, bald patches will appear.


Various ringworms exhibit different symptoms.

Ringworms of the hands

Its symptoms are:

  • Dry palms
  • Mild itching of the palm
  • An inflamed rash
  • Clear fluid at the edge of the fingers or palm
  • Sweating intensely

Ringworm of the nails

It is characterized by:

  • Hard nails
  • Brittle nails
  • Brown, yellow or discolored nails
  • Irregular shaped nails
  • Thin nails

Ringworm of the face

It is characterized by patches that are:

  • Red, oval, round and scaly
  • Easily aggravated by sunlight
  • Red in the middle and less scaly

Ringworm of the scalp

Its symptoms are:

  • Matted hair and yellow crusts
  • Black dots as a result of broken hair at the scalp
  • Dry scaling

Ringworm of the foot

Its symptoms include:

  • Moist and peeling skin between the toes
  • Dry, round patches on top of the foot
  • Dry scaling on the soles

Here is what you should do about a severe Ringworm infection

Severe cases of ringworm are treated using oral medication. The condition commonly clears up two to four weeks from the day of treatment but, in some individuals, it may recur. If one is a victim of recurring ringworm infections, he or she should try the following options to prevent further infections.

Revisit Treatment

Ensure you follow a treatment plan to the letter and take all medicine as directed. The rash is likely to disappear within 14 to 30 days of treatment, but fungus may still be living on the skin. The majority of ringworm treatments take two weeks or more. If you don’t complete treatments, there is a high chance of ringworm recurring.

Change your pets

Cats and dogs carry ringworm fungus in some cases and can easily infect their owners. If you have taken medication but still get a fungal infection, there is a high chance you are catching it from your cats and dogs. Rabbits and ferrets, and farm animals such as pigs, horses, and goats transmit the fungus to people as well.

Change your environment

If you are living with another person, he or she may have a fungus infection and you could be passing it to each other. The fungus is transmitted through skin-to-skin direct contact. Kids are prone to ringworm as well, they can catch it in day care or at school.

Be cautious at the gym

Showers and moist, warm locker rooms are mainly the breeding places for ringworm fungi. Sit on clean surfaces other than bare surfaces, don’t walk barefoot and put on flip-flops when showering. Wipe gym equipment before using it.

Maintain personal hygiene

Always take a shower after exercise to avoid sweat staying on your skin. Dry yourself well before dressing. Keep toenails and fingernails short so that fungus cannot hide under them. Avoid sharing clothing or shoes with other people and put on clothing that's breathable.

Visit a doctor

If the fungal infection keeps recurring after treatments, then have your doctor test you so as to be certain it’s not something else.

What causes chronic ringworm?

  • Regular contact with a pet carrying the fungus will facilitate its growth in a person’s skin.
  • When the contamination has gone deeply into one’s skin, medicine will no longer be an appropriate method of treatment. Hence, a more specialized treatment is required.
  • When a person’s immunity is poor or anti-infection agents are debilitated in the body.
  • Fragile, resistant framework usually doesn’t react emphatically to treatment courses.
  • Cats and dogs are ringworm bearers, too much closeness with them will cause a persistent recurrence of ringworm.
  • How to prevent ringworm infections
  • Keep your legs dry and clean
  • Dry yourself well after swimming or showering, also do not stay in wet swimsuits
  • Clean and disinfect pet accessories, toys, and bathrooms, among other areas, on a daily basis
  • Take all topical and systemic anti-fungal medicine as prescribed by a doctor and keep lesions covered
  • Dispose of contaminated items like combs, brushes, and towels. Avoid sharing such items with others.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, wash your hands regularly and bath using strong anti-fungal body washes and soap. Keep your scalp clean.
  • Avoid wearing sweaty clothes
  • Maintain your household surfaces by cleaning them with bleach. This also applies to childcare environments.
  • Treat your pets as soon as you discover infections. Quarantine or restrict them to a specific part of your house when necessary, so as to contain the infection from spreading.

How is chronic ringworm treated?

Chronic cases require proper treatment. There are several medical treatment options for ringworm, natural treatments also exist.

Medical treatments entail the use of creams such as Mycelex and Lotrimin. A number of creams without prescription are available. They usually take 30 days to be effective. Many individuals fail to complete a full treatment course, which leads to severe ringworm. Some of the side effects of these creams include itching, a burning sensation, and skin irritation.

Some of the existing oral medications include Lamisil and Diflucan. These medications require a doctor’s prescription. They must be taken for at least two weeks for it to be effective. They have several side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headaches and in a few cases, liver damage. It is important to complete the entire course of treatment to avoid ringworm turning chronic and for the treatment to be effective as well.

To avoid lengthy treatment periods and side effects resulting from traditional medical treatments, many prefer natural cures for ringworm symptoms. The good news is that even the severe cases of ringworm are curable.