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Q. I have two kittens, and they are affected by ringworm. Will I be affected too?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Infanteena Marily
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2022

Hello doctor,

I recently adopted two kittens that were later found to have been exposed to ringworm. They are being treated by the shelter and will return to me once they have been cleared. My family owned ringworm cats growing up, and all caught the infection. Our veterinarian insisted the cats needed to be put down as the condition can only be treated and can never be fully cured. We have found this true because we have seen recurrences even one to two decades later. For example, I took grapefruit seed extract internally long after our cats were put down and after any visible ringworm had been treated. Within a couple of weeks, dozens of new ringworm spots came to the surface of my skin. I treated them and have not had issues since then. I have heard ringworm only lives on the skin's outer shell, but my experience makes me believe it lurks in deeper skin tissue. Is this possible? If so, can I ever expect to cure my kittens 100%? I do not want to give them up for good, but I do not want to go through another ringworm nightmare with them. Please help.

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you had a history of ringworm infection due to your domestic kittens. You want to know the possibility of penetration of ringworm infection to deeper layers of the skin tissue.

Ringworm is an infection of the skin caused by the fungus. This infection rarely penetrates the deeper layers of the skin tissue or below the skin's surface. Pets like kittens can transmit the condition to humans. Again, humans can spread it to their pets too.

If the skin is broken, a bacterial infection can be initiated. Patients with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) or other conditions that may weaken the immune system are more vulnerable to spread ringworm infection from one part of the body to other parts.

Again, if left untreated, ringworm infection can also spread to other body areas or penetrate deeper layers of skin and cause skin scarring, hair loss, or other complications.

Topical antifungal cream is the primary choice of treatment for ringworm. But, if only antifungal cream cannot subside the fungal infection, then oral antifungal pills should be taken for a few weeks.

It is necessary to wash your affected area daily and dry the affected area. Again, fungal spores may stay in the clothes, floor, bodies of pets, etc., for a few days, so wash those properly with antiseptic for preventing further spread. I hope this helps.

Thank you.


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