Dermatophytosis | Ringworm a common skin fungal infection

Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Dr. Saqib Mueed

The infection of the nail, skin, or hair which is caused by the fungus Dermatophytosis or ringworm. This infection is also called tinea. The causative agents are mostly TrichophytonMicrosporum, or Epidermophyton. It is the skin’s fungal infection. Mostly appear in circular rash, scaly red, and itchy. The area on the skin which is affected by this disease may cause hair loss. 

Symptoms of Dermatophytosis

There are some following signs and symptoms of dermatophytosis.

  • Red Ringworms are commonly shown on the body by this infection.
  • Jock itch and athlete’s feet are caused by the infection of feet skin.
  • Infection on the nails known as onychomycosis and the nails may discolor, thicken and fall off or crumble, etc. This infection mostly affects adult people.

Some animals like cats and dogs may also be infected by ringworm. This can ba a Zoonotic disease and it may be transferred from animal to animal and humans.

There are some particular symptoms.

  • Nails may discolor, thicken, or start to crack
  • Patches
  • Patches on edges which cause to form a ring.
  • Raised patches or scaly and red patches etc.
  • Develop bald patches or blisters. [1]Dermatophytes (

Causes of Dermatophytosis

There are some following common causes of dermatophytosis: Mostly fungi develop well in warm and moist areas like Swimming pools, Locker rooms, and folds at the skin, etc.

Treatment of Dermatophytosis

There are some following ways for the treatment of dermatophytosis or ringworm.

In the case of scalp ringworm, the treatment starts with oral medication. There are some ways to stop this infection, by avoiding touching the lesions and making good hygiene.

Antifungal Treatment: This method of treatment has some agents likewise tolnaftate, clotrimazole, miconazole, ketoconazole, or terbinafine are used two times in a day to show the symptoms. This method is used for 7 to 14 days. When the symptoms are shown then this treatment should be carried on for one week to stop the infection.

Vaccination: There are not any approved vaccines present for the dermatophytosis of humans but the vaccine is present for cats, horses and dogs.

Ringworm has been effectively controlled by systemic vaccination in the battles. There are some fungal strains such as Microsporum and trichophyton that have limited time protection by the use of dermatophyton. Some animals such as foxes and rabbits are treated against ringworm by the use of vaccines.[2]Dermatophytosis ([3]Expert Consensus on The Management of Dermatophytosis in India (ECTODERM India) (

Herbal Treatment of Dermatophytosis

There are some natural treatments or herbal treatments for ringworm or dermatophytosis. Fungal infection is treated with many medicines but there are also some natural or herbal treatment present which has very proved effective

Some of the natural treatment is given the following:

Apple cider vinegar

Some fungal infections can be treated in some natural ways such as by the use of apple cider vinegar. It is an anti-fungal agent.  Ringworm can be treated by using apple cider vinegar with the help of cotton and the wiping of apple cider vinegar on the affected area of skin.[4]Analysis of Dermatophytosis Therapy at Persian Cat After Using Apple Vinegar (Malus domestica) | Media Kedokteran Hewan (


Mostly garlic is used for the treatment of ringworm. It can be effectively used to treat some other fungal infections such as Cryptococcus, Torulopsis, Candida and trichophyton. In this type of treatment, the crushed garlic paste is mixed with coconut oil. And this paste should be applied on the affected area of skin and remove the paste after two hours.[5]The Effect of Aqueous Garlic Extract on the Growth of Dermatophytes – Amer – 1980 – International Journal of Dermatology – Wiley Online Library

Aloe vera

The research has been proved that there are some antiseptic agents present in aloe vera. It has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial properties. The gel of aloe vera is used on ringworm infections for the treatment. This gel also has a cooling effect.[6][PDF] EFFICACY OF ALOE VERA GEL LEAVES FOR TREATMENT OF SKIN AFFECTION AMONGE ANIMALS. II) TREATMENT TRIAL OF CALVES DERMATOPHYTOSIS. | Semantic Scholar

Soapy water

We can prevent the fungal infections by cleaning our body in inappropriate ways and keeping skin moist free because we know that in most areas the fungus grows rapidly. We can make our body clean and moist free to get rid of fungal infection with daily use of soap and warm water.[7] … Continue reading

Coconut oil

Fungal cells can be killed with some fatty acids which are present in coconut oil. Fatty acids of coconut oil destroy the cell membrane of fungal cells. According to the latest research coconut oil is an effective treatment of ringworm. Coconut oil is used for other fungal infections. There is an effective way to control the escape from ringworm which is the moisturizing lotion of coconut oil.[8]Frontiers | Activity of Various Essential Oils Against Clinical Dermatophytes of Microsporum and Trichophyton (

Lemongrass oil

Another natural process of treatment is present in the process which helps to treat the different types of fungal infections. Lemongrass oil is also used for the treatment of ringworm and other fungal infections. We can use lemongrass oil by mixing it with other common oil and using it on infected portions of the skin.[9]SciELO – Brazil – Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp. Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp.

Turmeric, Tea tree oil, Powdered licorice, Oil of oregano, Seed extract of grapefruit also has antifungal properties and research has proven said for Dermatophytosis also.

Precautionary measures for Dermatophytosis

Following some Precautionary measures that can be helpful for getting Dermatophytosis

  • Avoid walking barefoot
  • Wear protective shoes while walking in either the locker room or at the beach etc.
  • The animals (pets) which have a fungal infection. Avoid such animals.
  • Use fungicidal soap with hot water.
  • Avoid sharing shoes or towels, sheets, sports equipment, and clothes, etc. 
  • Towel, clothes exercise machine and footwear, etc.[10]

Reviewed by:

Dr. Shahid Bukhari

MBBS, FCPS (Medicine)

Ex. Registrar DOW Medical College Karachi

Medical Officer Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi

Our reviewers’ details, Click Here

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