Facts About Ringworm

Facts About Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin infection that is caused by a fungus. A child with ringworm has a rash that is usually itchy and flaky. The rash may be shaped like a ring with a raised edge. Ringworm may affect the body, feet or scalp.

What does ringworm do?

If the scalp is infected, ringworm can cause a bald area. If the feet are infected, they are usually itchy and the skin between the toes may crack. Ringworm of the feet is commonly called, “athlete’s foot”.

Ringworm can be cured with medicines taken by mouth or with creams that are spread on the infected area.

How is ringworm spread?

Ringworm spreads from person to person by touch

When someone touches or scratches the rash, the fungus sticks to the fingers or gets under the fingernails. The fungus then spreads when that person touches someone else.

Ringworm of the scalp can be spread if combs, hair brushes, barrettes, bike helmets, headphones or hats are shared.

What to do at home

  • If another child has ringworm, check your child for signs of ringworm. Look for a ring or circle-shaped rash on your child’s head, body or feet.
  • Call your doctor if you think your child has ringworm.
  • Remind children to wash their hands after touching the infected skin.
  • Encourage children not to share combs, brushes and headgear; don’t share facecloths and towels.
  • Wash the affected area daily and keep it dry and clean.
  • To prevent ringworm coming back, use the medicine or cream for as long as your doctor suggests. Do not stop treatment just because the rash disappears.
  • Be aware that pets can have ringworm and can spread it to other animals and to people.

Children with ringworm may go to the child care centre or school.

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