Under the Microscope: Ringworm

Fungi Causing the Ringworm Disease 

Fast Facts 

  • Ringworm (tinea/dermatophytosis) is the resulting disease, not the cause 
  • More than 40 types of fungi cause ringworm, aka athlete’s foot and jock-itch 
  • Appears 4-14 days after making contact, and responsible for 5M outpatient visits annually 
  • A top cause of fungus-based diseases in public showers and locker rooms 
  • EPIC iO AURA kill rate: around 95% 

The 40 types of fungi causing ringworm include Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton. 

These fungi can live anywhere from the skin of other people to the environment, but there are three main ways that it can spread: people, animals, and the environment. Ringworm of the body is a rash caused by a fungal infection. The name comes from the appearance it causes when you become infected; an itchy circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Ringworm is transmitted through direct contact and has a delayed symptom response time of 4-14 days. There’s no telling where you may contract these fungi.  

Ringworm can be traced back to the 1800s when they first thought it was caused by a worm entering the body. In the South Pacific, a combination of unsanitary conditions and extreme humidity during World War II created the perfect breeding ground for these fungi.  

It’s estimated that at least one billion people will contract some type of fungal disease each year. Although the likelihood of anything greater than dry skin, redness, and swelling is very low, ringworm still generates over five million outpatient visits per year. 

In extreme cases, it moves deeper into the cells of the skin to weaken the immune system and increase your vulnerability to other diseases. Steroids make matters worse. 

The most effective way to prevent Ringworm or any form of fungus is personal hygiene – fresh air flowing around hands and feet, dry feet, well-fitting shoes, and at least a daily change of underwear. 

EPIC iO AURA and Fungi That Cause Ringworm 

Fungi can be inactivated by gaseous ozone-based disinfection. A standard overnight cycle from an EPIC iO AURA will kill around 95% of fungi from surfaces. 

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