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January 2024
So what do athletes, pet lovers and children have in common?
By - Dr. Sejal Saheta
Unlikely Allies: Exploring the Common Ground of Athletes, Pet Lovers, and Children.

As they say, it always pays to be in the know. I believe that it makes perfect sense for all individuals to be well informed on the single most common skin infection they will ever come across. Ringworm.

So where’s the worm?

Well in reality Ringworm is not caused by a worm. It is a misnomer; Ringworm is actually a fungal infection. It is also called tinea.

Hey, I thought ringworm only affects children…

Well unfortunately; you would be wrong. Ringworm can affect practically anyone at any point in their life. It is a highly contagious disease that can spread from one part of the body to another and also from one person to another. There are some groups which are at higher risk of contacting the infection like children, athletes and pet lovers, but what is important to know is that it spreads primarily by contact with the infected person or animal and by sharing of objects like clothes, bedding, towels etc

So what does it look like? What happens with it? Where do I spot it?

Ringworm presents as red itchy patches in the form of rings in which the centre is clear and the borders are active (red in colour). It is accompanied by intense itching, so much so that it affects routine life and even sleep.

Although it is most commonly seen on closed areas like groin, buttocks and under arms, it can occur on any part of the body including but not limited to hands feet, scalp, nails and stomach.

When it occurs on groin, it is called jock itch. When it occurs on feet it is called athlete’s foot.

Why Me?

Well on an everyday level we are all exposed to various bacteria, fungus and viruses. The fungus that causes Ringworm flourishes in a hot and humid environment and we are after all in India.

Aggravators for Ringworm include increased sweating, diabetes, weak immune system, tight or restrictive clothing etc.

Close contact sports or activities like wrestling, contact with infected pets are typically responsible for Ringworm infections.

Ok, so what should I do if I get Ringworm?

Well the first thing to know about Ringworm is what not to do.

  • Do not reach for that itching cream you have seen advertised. Do not ask a chemist to prescribe a cream. Most over the counter creams only supress the itching and rashes temporarily without eradicating the fungus. Hence the infection bounces back on stopping the usage of the creams.
  • Quite a few OTC creams often tend to have a combination of various drugs which can harm the situation more than help it.
  • Please do not use home remedies. I have come across people applying garlic, turmeric, vinegar, oil etc… These are great for cooking, let’s leave them in the kitchen.
  • Then there is ‘Sapat Lotion’, this can seriously harm the affected area. It often burns the skin but fails to affect the infection.

How is it treated?

Visit a dermatologist. Do not self-medicate. The treatment will include oral and topical anti-fungal medication. And it will include medication that can control the itching.

Ha! I have been through it, I am not getting it again.

Well unfortunately it’s not true. The infection can recur due to external factors. It is best to know how to prevent it. Here are some thoughts.

-Stay dry

  • Dry the skin completely after bathing.
  • Do not wear damp clothes.
  • Do not wear clothes on wet body

-Wear loose clothing

-Avoid sharing clothes, towels, napkins etc.

-If you have pets, on any sign of infection in the pet get the same treated immediately.

-Bathe immediately after exercise or change clothes after swimming

-In case you have an infected person in the family, wash the clothes and linen of the infected person separately.


Built on more than a decade of experience of Dr. Sejal Saheta, we are the honest and affordable, skin and hair care clinic. Our goal is to make each patient comfortable and happy with their appearance with the least amount of intervention.

Equipped with the latest technology, here qualified and trained doctors conduct and supervise all procedures in strict adherence to protocols developed by Dr. Saheta.

We are happy to be a part of your journey to reach your health goals. If you think we have been able to help you, please do review us:
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