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In medical terms, ringworm is called tinea or dermatophytosis. This infection can be of several types depending on the body part it affects like tinea capitis (the scalp), tinea corporis (the body), tinea pedis (the feet), tinea cruris (the groin), and tinea manus (the hands). If you are pregnant, you must learn about it and take preventive measures to avoid it. So read on to know more about ringworm and how it can be prevented!
Symptoms of Ringworm
The symptoms of ringworm infection vary depending on where the person is infected. In case of a skin infection, you may experience the following:
- The skin may appear inflamed with round patches which form a distinct ring.
- In some cases, the skin in the centre of the ring may be clear.
- Blisters or scales on the skin
- Itchy skin
- In case the ringworm infection affects the scalp, hair fall may become prominent.
What Are the Risks and Effects of Ringworm During Pregnancy?
Can ringworm affect pregnancy? Well, it is highly unlikely that ringworm will have a negative impact on pregnancy. But sometimes, it may affect the pregnancy. Some of the points that you may like to keep in mind are as follows:
A pregnant woman is at the risk of catching ringworm infection as any other healthy person, as a skin infection is easily transmissible.
Ringworm during pregnancy may not cause any harm to the unborn baby.
The fungus responsible for the skin infection feeds on the dead tissue that is present on the skin’s surface and cannot invade into the deeper layers of the skin.
In very rare cases even if the fungus does manage to enter it won’t survive in the mucous membranes.
Treatment for Ringworm During Pregnancy
Treating ringworm infection is not that difficult. Doctors usually prescribe some medications and lifestyle changes to treat this infection. But when a woman is pregnant, she should take oral medications after checking with her gynaecologist as some medicines can adversely affect the well-being of the baby. So always refer to a doctor in case you get infected with ringworm while pregnant. The doctor may recommend a topical cream comprising triamcinolone and nystatin to cure the infection. Applying the cream twice every day or as prescribed by the doctor may provide relief from this infection.
Home Remedies for Ringworm
There are some home remedies too for ringworm that may provide relief. However, these remedies should be tried only after consulting with a doctor as there is no scientific data to prove that these remedies may prove to be effective always.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is antifungal and anti-inflammatory in nature. Sprinkling turmeric on the infected skin may help in restricting the growth of ringworm and also speed up the healing process. Applying turmeric paste made by mixing some turmeric in water can also provide relief.
Ginger tea also has antifungal properties. Drinking ginger tea may help you heal faster. Dapping ginger tea on the affected area may help in providing relief from likely discomfort.
Garlic is known for its therapeutic goodness as it contains ajoene. Applying a few crushed cloves of garlic on the infected skin may hasten the healing process. You can also use garlic oil.
Coconut oil can also be used on the affected area to treat the infection. As coconut oil is both antifungal and microbial in nature, it can lower the incidence of ringworm infection.
You can also place potato slices on the affected area. It also helps cure the ringworm infection.
Aloe Vera is a safe and natural remedy for fungal infections. Applying aloe vera gel on the infected skin a couple of times every day can bring respite from inflammation and itchiness.
How to Prevent Ringworm While Pregnant
Maintaining good hygiene during pregnancy can help prevent ringworms. Washing the infected skin with clean water and a disinfectant cleanser may help limit the spread of infection. After washing the affected area with water, do not rub it with a towel; pat dry the skin gently. It is advised to not share clothes, towels, combs and other personal things. A pregnant woman should also try and avoid physical contact with an infected person. Ringworm infection can also pass on to a pregnant woman from an infected animal or public places like a swimming pool or locker rooms as the fungi thrive in moist places. So its best to avoid such places while pregnant.
Ringworm is a fungal infection which cures on its own generally. However, in case, you get it during pregnancy, it is advised that you seek medical attention at the earliest. Other than causing irritation and discomfort ringworm during pregnancy is unlikely to produce any other negative effect on the pregnancy, so you need not worry. Maintain proper hygiene, eat healthy, and follow your doctor’s advice, and you and your baby will be fine!