Tinea or ringworm is a fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. The name ‘ringworm’ is due to the ring-like appearance of the rash. It can involve any body site from head to toe like the scalp, face, beard area, trunk, arms, legs, groin, hands, foot and even, nails.

It appears as a round red rash with scales. You can observe a lot of red bumps at the edges while it is vice- versa at the centre. As the disease progresses, there will be many such rings forming a large patch of redness, studded with boils, small bumps, and scales.

Some points you need to know:

1. Wear dry loose cotton clothes. Keep the affected part well ventilated
2. Take bath twice a day in the lukewarm water. Avoid using very hot water as it favours fungal growth
3. Use a fresh dry towel to wipe off water and make sure skin folds are totally dry before wearing clothes
4. Wash your clothes, towel, and bedspread in hot water and dry them in good sunlight
5. Eat healthy food, keep your body weight ideal for your height because being overweight or undernourished leads to reduced immunity
6. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar level frequently and make sure it lies in the normal range because uncontrolled blood sugar is a risk factor for fungal infection.
7. Visit a Dermatologist and complete the course of Antifungal Medicine they prescribe.
8. Do not scratch. Scratching makes the rash worse. Ask your dermatologist to prescribe anti-itching medicine.
9. Do not wear synthetic clothes, tight-fitting jeans which do not allow air to flow through them. Do not wear wet inner clothes. Do not wear inners while at home, just allow air to flow freely through the affected part.
10. Do not share your personal items such as clothes, towel, soap, or comb with your family members or friends.
11. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) medications as most of them contain steroid which gives faster relief from itching but spread the ringworm to a larger area.
12. Do not use home remedies such as garlic paste to get rid of ringworm. This could burn your skin and leave a permanent scar.

Proper and timely medications from a dermatologist and these skin care measures would provide faster relief from symptoms, speedy recovery and less chance of recurrence.