Diseases

Ringworm Information – What Parents Need to Know

Ringworms are very common, so there’s no need to panic if your child has contracted it. 20% of the population will get it at one time or another, so it doesn’t mean that you are not taking care of your child properly. All you need to do is get the right ringworm information to help your son or daughter.

Dermatophytosis, or ringworm, often spreads during summer and wanes in winter. It is caused by different kinds of Dermatophytes or fungi. These feed on the Keratin found in your hair, nails and skin.

A child can catch ringworm easily. At a young age, they are still very curious about many things, and can easily contract it from the sandbox, the playground, the beach, their playmates, in the restroom, or through an unknown animal.

You may notice your child scratching away at something. Your clue that this is more than a normal itch is when a ring-shaped rash appears. It will appear red at the edges, sometimes with raised skin, and healthy-looking skin at the middle. This infection can also manifest on the hands and feet (as athlete’s foot) wherein the skin between toes or fingers become cracked and red. It can also infect the nails, and become so severe that they crumble and fall off. The most severe cases are those of the scalp, which can lead to bald spots and hair breakage. This can require oral treatment.

Children will tend to keep scratching at the rash even when you tell them not to. Scratching spreads the infection to other parts of the body, so you need to bandage the infection to deter them. Switching to an anti-fungal soap would help; you and whoever takes care of the child should also use this kind of soap to prevent further spreading the problem.

There are several over-the-counter ringworm ointments and creams you can use. These often contain Ketoconazole, Miconazole, Terbinafine or Clotrimazole. If you go to a doctor, they may recommend a cream made with Clotrimazole and Betamethasone. This last substance kills the fungi and takes away the itching and inflammation. However, it is a little bit stronger, so you should consult a doctor before using this to get the proper treatment procedure.

The anti-fungal treatment should be continued for two to four weeks. Even if the symptoms disappear, continue for 7 more days to make sure the fungi is completely dead. If the rash doesn’t clear or get smaller within the first week of using the anti-fungal cream, it’s best to consult a doctor. Your child may develop and allergic reaction or some side effects. If swelling, redness, or blisters develop, get to a pediatrician immediately.

To prevent your child from getting the infection again, always remind them not to walk around in their bare feet. You should also keep them from playgrounds or kiddy gyms that are not regularly cleaned. Their clothes and beddings should be washed with a bleach solution as well.

Your child may also have gotten the infection from your pet. More ringworm information few people know is that animals can spread the fungus. They often have no visible symptoms. If they do, it often appears as a round bald spot.

If they did get it from the household dog or cat, immediately segregate the animal and clean hard surfaces in your home with a bleach solution. Use a vacuum to remove pet hair, then burn the bag used with the vacuum. The pet should also be treated for ringworm immediately, to prevent a vicious cycle.

Whoever begins treatment on the child should wash their hands before and after they apply the ointment. They should also be doubly careful so that they don’t catch the infection too.

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