How common is ringworm?

Ringworm is a fairly common skin problem throughout the world. The true incidence or how common is ringworm, is not known (as incidence of ringworm is no longer registered by public health agencies), but it is a common disease which infect large number of individuals throughout the world. The reported (although not confirmed by reliable agency/organization) incidence of ringworm is estimated to be approximately 20% of population, i.e. approximately 20% individuals are infected with one form or other ringworm.

The causative fungus involved may vary from country to country and in different regions of same country. In the United States, Tinea capitis (ringworm of scalp) is most common among preadolescent school age children and accounts for more than 90% of dermatophytosis in children younger than 10 years of age. The disease is generally not seen among adults, but elderly people may be affected.

Tinea capitis is also common in urban areas in most countries of the world. In most part of Europe the disease is sporadic. Tinea capitis is common in North America, Central America, and South America, Africa and India and many countries. In Southeast Asia, the rate of infection of ringworm has been reported to have decreased dramatically in the last 50 years, which is credited to improved general sanitary conditions and personal hygiene with improved economic conditions.

Worldwide the incidence of ringworm is underreported. The ringworm is also a disease, where many affected individuals may not seek medical attention, especially in rural areas of underdeveloped and developing countries. Even in developed countries many individuals with ringworm try home remedies and may even ignore the disease as it is not serious disease.

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