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Skin infections aren’t all that uncommon. While some develop over time, others are extremely contagious and can have adverse effects on your skin health. Ringworm is one such infection that is highly contagious and itchy.

It is a rash that appears red and circular, giving it its name. Surprisingly, there isn’t an actual worm slithering under your skin, just a fungal infection making your life more difficult. Although they aren’t serious, ringworms can spread through minimal skin-to-skin contact.

But the real question is, how long is ringworm contagious? Truth be told, as long as you get proper treatment, you have nothing to worry about. However, untreated ringworm can remain infectious for as long as the rash lasts.

Common Ringworm Symptoms

Even though identifying ringworm isn’t all that hard, there are still quite a few signs people miss out on. In order to get rid of your ringworm, spotting it in time is crucial. It’s also important to remember that most ringworms pop up on your hands, legs, buttocks, and chest area. Take a look below at some of its most prominent symptoms so you can easily recognize one when needed.

  • Uncontrollable itching
  • A circular patch of skin that is slightly raised.
  • Red ring of rash
  • Scaly or cracked skin
  • Discoloration on skin

Is Ringworm Contagious?

Ringworm is incredibly contagious. Since it’s a fungal infection, it can instantly transmit from one person to another. Not to mention, ringworms can also take root in animals and affect them in the exact same way as humans. This means that even if you don’t contract the infection from a person, there is still a chance to get it from your pet.

In fact, ringworm is so contagious that if you’re not careful, you can spread it from one body part to another, all by yourself. For instance, if you have a ringworm on your arm and you scratch it, then touch your leg, a ringworm might form over there as well.

How Long is Ringworm Contagious?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific time period for how long ringworms are contagious. Although, if you get proper treatment, the contagiousness can stop after 48 hours, which means it can not spread anymore. On the other hand, if you leave the ringworm as is, there is a high chance it will continue to be contagious and affect anyone or anything that comes in direct contact with it.

Ringworms aren’t dangerous to the point where you need to quarantine. If anything, just make sure the infected area is well-covered so it can’t accidentally spread to someone. It is best to avoid skin-to-skin contact or any such activity to prevent it from spreading.

Tips To Get Rid of a Ringworm

Ringworms can be quite disruptive. They can distract you from work and make it hard to focus on a task due to the constant itching spells. That is why you need to take special precautions to get rid of it as soon as possible. Here are a handful of tips you can follow to stop ringworm from taking root.

  1. Get treated immediately
  2. Always wash your hand after coming into contact with anything or anyone.
  3. Sharing is not always caring. Keep your personal items to yourself only.
  4. Use hot water to wash and clean everything.
  5. Disinfect everything with a strong solution so there is no trace of a fungal infection.

Long Story Short

All in all, ringworm is contagious for as long as it remains untreated. That is why doctors recommend treating the skin infection the moment you take note of it. For more information, feel free to contact Sharaf Diwan, MD, at (832) 604-0005 or visit 18220 TX-249 #230, Houston, TX 77070, at the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

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