Is Ringworm Contagious in Human? Itchy, While Treated, How Long, Period

How long is ringworm contagious? Get insights about its contagious period in human and if it can be transmitted while being treated. You will also learn whether ringworm is itchy or not.

How Long Is Ringworm Contagious

Ringworm is a fungal infection that commonly affects the skin. It is also medically known as tinea. It has various names depending on the part of the body that is affected. For instance, athlete’s foot is the ringworm of the foot, jock itch is the ringworm of the groin among others. This infection is not causes by a worm or parasite as its name suggest.
Ringworm is a contagious infection that is transmitted through direct body contact with infected person, animal, object or soil. This infection will remain contagious until when it is treated. After treatment, it stops being contagious within 1-2 days. Preventing direct contact with infected person or animals may help to reduce the spread of ringworm.
Ringworm is commonly spread through human to human contact. You are likely to contact this infection by coming into direct skin contact with infected person. Sharing of towels, clothes and other personal items may also spread this infection.
The infection is common in children who are below the age of nine years because their body immune system is not fully developed. Children also share various items that may be infected with fungi such as sporting equipment’s, clothing and comps.
The fungi can survive for a long time in dumpy areas like locker rooms, public swimming pool, comps and brushes. To prevent ringworm, you are supposed to avoid such places and items that may be harboring the fungi. If you or your child is infected, it is advisable to visit your doctor right away you start experiencing the first symptom.

When Is Ringworm Not Contagious

You may be wondering how long is ringworm contagious, this infection will remain contagious until the time you will treat it. Therefore, ringworm is not contagious after treatment. Once you start treatment, it stops from spreading to other people and animals within a duration of 24-48 hours. However, there are various measures you can employ to prevent the spread of ringworms. They include:

  • You may not get this infection by preventing its spread. When your family member or friend is diagnosed with ringworms, avoid sharing of basic items such as beddings, clothing, comps and brushes until he or she is treated.
  • Take your pet animals such as cats and dogs to the vet regularly for diagnosis of ringworm. Early diagnosis and treatment will help to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Observe your personal hygiene and that one of your children. Wash your beddings and clothe after use. Clean the surfaces using a disinfectant especially after public functions that involves different people.
  • Wearing slippers in locker rooms and public bathing rooms.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly using soap after touching infected areas. You should also avoid touching other body parts with contaminated hands.
  • Dry your skin well using clean towel after showering.

Visit your doctor or dermatologist right away you start experiencing a reddish and circular patches on your skin. You don’t need to worry about being contagious while on treatment. It will clear up for 3-4 weeks after treatment.

Is Ringworm Itchy

Ringworm of the skin normally start as a red and scaly patch that tend to be very itchy and uncomfortable. Over time, the patch will appear to be raised and circular in shape. The patches seems to have a clearer skin at the center.
When the ringworm affects the foot, it is referred to as athlete’s foot. The rash normally develops in between the toes. You may feel an itchy feeling between the affected toes that may cause an urge to scratch. When the foot or groin area is affected, you may develop a red and inflamed patch and not a ring as you may experience on other parts of your body.
When the scalp is affected, you may develop a small and itchy sores that may resemble pimples. In more severe cases, the itchiness may be accompanied with other symptoms such as small and pus filled sores, crusting and patchy hair loss
When other parts of your skin is affected, the infection may spread to the groin area to cause a jock itch. It may cause itchiness and redness around the groin area. The mostly affected areas are the thighs and some parts of your buttocks. The genitals are really affected.
You may wonder is ringworm contagious and itchy when the nails are affected, the answer is yes. The skin around the nails can become itchy and tender. In most cases, the nails may become whitish, thickened, and brittle, discolored and may start to fall off.

Ringworm Contagious Period

You may be wondering how do you get ringworm. It is a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted from infected person to others through direct skin contact.  You can also get this infection indirectly through touching infected objects and soil. You may also get this infection from pet animals and cows.
Ringworm contagious period starts from incubation up to the time it is treated. The symptoms may take 4 to 14 day or more to appear depending with the type of the body that is affected. There is possibility of spreading this infection during the incubation period even before the symptoms appears. The chances of spreading the infection increases when the symptom develops.
After infection, you may develop various symptoms on the affected parts that includes: itchy skin, a ring shaped patch on the skin, red rash, scaly skin, cracks on the affected skin and loss of hair patches on the skin. You may be asking yourself, is ringworm contagious after the symptom disappears. You are declared non-contagious after 24-48 hours of treatment. However, you are at risk of contracting this infection under the following circumstances:

  • When you reside in dumpy, humid and crowded places
  • If you share personal items such as clothing, beddings, towel, comps and brushes with infected person
  • Weakened body immune system as a result of other infections such as HIV and Aids and cancer
  • Having direct body contact with infected person, pet animals, objects or soil
  • When you involve in activities and sports that encourages direct body contact such as wrestling
  • If you are a child who is between the age of 3- 9 years
  • Wearing of tight clothing especially the underwear’s.

Is Ringworm Contagious While Being Treated

Ringworm is mostly treated using topical treatment especially when the infection is mild. The doctor may also prescribe you some antifungal cream, lotion or ointment to be applied in the infected patches. While being treated, it will only remain contagious only up to 48 hours. However, during the treatment period, you may be restricted from some activities that encourages direct body contact with other people such as wrestling.
You may also apply topical non-prescribed antifungal medicines. They are also effective on how to get rid of ringworms fast when applied twice a day. Such medicines includes Micatin or Lamisil. When taken they fasten the healing process and ensures that it does not recur a gain. The anti-fungal medications will also prevent it from being contagious.
Infected cats, dogs or cows may remain contagious up to three weeks if the recommended treatments and measure are not taken. You are supposed to minimize exposure of the infected animal to others and your family members until it recovers completely. You may wonder how long does ringworm last after treatment, this condition may take two- four to heal.

Is Ringworm Contagious In Humans

This is a highly contagious fungal infection that is caused by mold-like parasites that lives in dumpy and humid condition. They may also live on the outer layer of your skin. It is transmitted to humans in the following ways:

  1. Human to human. This infection is often transmitted by direct skin contact with infected person. Ringworm becomes contagious from the incubation period up to the time it is treated.
  2. Animal to human. Different animals such as cows, dogs and cats can also get infected with this condition. You may get infected by touching such animals. For example, during grooming of your pet.
  3. Objects to human. You may get ringworms by coming into contact with object that are touched by infected person or are rubbed against infected animals. Sharing of various objects such as towels, beddings, comps and brushes with infected person encourages the spread of ringworms.
  4. Soil to human. Although it is rare but there is possibility of contracting it from the soil. Prolonged contact with infected soil may cause an infection.

You may be asking yourself for how long does ringworm stay contagious in human. When you are infected you are likely to spread the infection from the 4th -14th day after infection. This infection is highly contagious during the symptom stage. You will remain contagious until you are treated.
Further References;