During a ringworm outbreak in a group of children or adolescents, Sciensano can be called upon to detect the source of the infection, and thus stop the epidemic as quickly as possible.
Dermatophytosis or tinea is a fungal skin disease that can occur in both humans and animals. It is a superficial dermatological infection caused by a specific group of fungi known as dermatophytes.
Depending on the location of the lesion, a specific name is given to the disease, like for instance:
- tinea capitis or ringworm, when the disease affects the scalp. The fungi responsible for ringworm can be cause inflammatory reactions and affect both humans and animals. The infection can then manifest itself in various forms, ranging from a discreet redness of the skin and broken hair to extensive baldness and very severe lesions. Ringworm mainly affects children until puberty, but it can also occur in adults, both symptomatically and asymptomatically
- tinea corporis, when the disease appears on one or more areas of the body
- tinea pedis, when the disease is manifested on the feet or toes