Ringworm is a transmissible infectious skin disease caused most often by Trichophyton verrucosum, a spore forming fungi. The spores can remain alive for years in a dry environment. It occurs in all species of mammals including cattle and man. Although unsightly, fungal infections cause little permanent damage or economic loss. Direct contact with infected animals is the most common method of spreading the infection.
Spores germinate and attack the shafts of the hair and the surface layers of the skin. Exudates ooze from the damaged skin and mix with debris from skin and hair forming a crusty scab. The grayish-white scab is noticeably higher than the surrounding skin. Ringworm is most frequent on the head and neck, but it may be found over the entire body in severe cases. Infection spreads from the center outwards and resulting in a circular lesion. Scabs fall from older lesions leaving a ring with a hairless area in the center. Hence, the name ringworm.
Ringworm will usually cure itself without treatment. Common treatments include topical application of a 2% solution of iodine, thiabendazole paste or any fungicide used to treat athlete's foot in man.
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Information contained in this article from one or more of the following:
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
South Carolina Extension Service
Nebraska Extension Service
Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension Service
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
University of Minnesota Extension Service