Doctors warn of the spread of ringworm among young people

Doctors warn of the spread of ringworm among young people

Ringworm, a contagious fungal infection caused by parasites that live on the skin, is common among teenage males who frequent low-cost barbershops. Doctors have been monitoring the outbreak for some time. “An alert has been issued among dermatologists because we are seeing many cases of this type. These are ringworm outbreaks that coincide with very specific hair shaving, on the nape of the neck and in the area of ​​the ears.” Explains Veronica Ruiz, attached to the Dermatology Service at Hospital de la Santa Creu y Sant Pau, in Barcelona.


Therefore, it occurs in teenagers who frequently go to barbershops where they pay five euros for a haircut and where the materials are not properly disinfected. “We think there are a lot of ringworm outbreaks in this group because these young people get their hair cut at hairdressers where the materials are not properly disinfected. Moreover, these wounds require weekly or bi-weekly maintenance,” Ruiz adds.

Ringworm is not a notifiable infection and only large outbreaks are reported to the Department of Health. Sources in the department say: “At the present time, we do not have any evidence of an outbreak.” However, dermatologists say outbreaks are being recorded across Spain. “We are seeing an increase in the frequency of this condition,” explains Dr. Ruiz. “From the major dermatology societies, we are bringing it to the attention of the authorities.”

The dermatologist at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (Esplugues de Llobregat) Asunción Vicente also confirms that ringworm is linked to “scalp shaving habits.” “Teenage fat is the best antifungal medicine. It is the best antifungal. Men shave the back of their necks, imitating their idols, and that is why they get ringworm. We also see some fungi that were not common,” confirms Vicente, who is also the president of the association. Catalan Dermatologist.

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According to this doctor, there is a type of fungus seen in Spain, which until now was “very exotic” in the region: Trichophyton tonurans. He continues by saying that it is a mushroom that is more common in “developing” countries and arrives in Spain due to “migration streams.”

“This fungus occurs mainly in teenage males, who get it from hairdressers. We are seeing the fungus at ages that do not correspond to [són més típics en nens abans de l’adolescència i en avis, perquè han perdut el greix del cuir cabellut] “It is less common,” Vicente explains, but points out that “it is not difficult to eradicate.”

Oral treatment

Ringworm is a fungal infection that, in this type of outbreak, is found on the scalp. It is contagious directly: either through person-to-person contact or through contact with a razor that has not been properly disinfected. As Dr. Ruiz explains, the best treatment is oral, but it can also be combined with topical treatment. Treatment requires “between two weeks and a month” to completely eliminate the fungus.

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