Friday, June 20, 2008

Recognizing Ringworms

Ringworm, unlike the name suggests, is a fungal disease, and unlike fleas, ticks and worms, it is not a parasite. Ringworm is a fungal infection that sits inside of the skin tissue and can spread if not treated and controlled. Ringworm is identifiable through skin lesions and in some cases, through a fungal presence on the hair follicles. The appearance of ringworm is easily differentiated from that of bites from fleas or other parasites as the lesion on the skin is circular, and hence the name, it looks like a worm that is curling up inside of the skin tissue. Because ringworm is a fungal infection the sooner the infection is caught and treated the sooner the spread of the infection will be stopped and it can start to clear up.

The incubation period for ringworm is around two weeks. This means that only after about two weeks of coming into contact with the fungus will lesions on the skin start to show. Do be careful, the fungal infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact with people and with animals that are already infected or are carriers of the fungal infection – this is another reason to seek out treatment as soon as you notice or suspect that you pet may have ringworm. As with fleas, there are a number of ways to treat ringworm, from tablets to ointments and shampoo treatments.