Ringworm is a common condition seen in small children. It is an infection with a “fungus” (a particular variety of germ). The association of children with animals (who frequently transport the infection) and their subsequent association with baby can affect even the youngest. It is very contagious.
Ringworm of the scalp, face and body
If your child actually has ringworm of the scalp it is a serious condition, not from the point of view of danger to the child’s health, but from the persistence of the condition and of the extreme infectiousness of it.
The infection can occur on the scalp or body or limbs. In the scalp region it may produce a loss of hair (it is the commonest cause of patchy hair loss in children.)
On the skin elsewhere, it presents as a “ring” (thus “ringworm”). This may be inflamed, or scaly, with a spreading margin. Usually there is little irritation. It just appears, and starts growing.
Ringworm of the body can be cleared up with the application of anti-fungal cream, but not so ringworm of the scalp. Ringworm of the scalp a bald patch appears from which the hairs break off so that you can see the little broken pieces of hair just passing through the skin of the scalp.
Care has to be taken to see that nobody else uses the child’s towels, hats, etc.
Causes, symptoms and treatment
People also ask
1. What is the cause of ringworm? If it erupts in the hair does it leave a bare patch or do hairs grow out of it? How long does it lake to heal? Please could you tell me what is the best treatment for ringworm of the scalp?
Humans can be infected with ringworm which is either exclusive to man or primarily parasitic to other animals. The diagnosis is made by taking scrapings from skin scales of infected hairs and sending them for fungal culture to a laboratory.
Ringworm of the scalp appears as an enclosed patch of hair loss with scaling, brown discoloration. The hairs in the infected patch are broken off shortly above the scalp, because of a weakening of the hair substance.
If a child is infected she should not attend school. In some cases, depending on the severity of the affliction, all infected hairs must be shaved off. Treatment is commenced as soon as the diagnosis is firmly established and this may not be until the result of the culture is at hand.
Specific ointments or creams are then applied locally to the affected area.
2. I have three children and each has developed ringworm on the arms and trunk. We recently adopted a new pup.
Blame the pup. See the vet about him and make sure the animal is de-germed. Otherwise further infections are inevitable. Treat the circular reddish skin blemishes with anti-fungal cream. This has stood the test of time, and fixes most quickly.
It’s best to cover each with an adhesive patch. Ringworm is highly contagious, and it is easy to infect others as well as other parts of the body.
3. My child has an itchy patch on her scalp. Could this be ringworm? If it is how would I recognize it and how should ringworm be treated?
Ringworm of the scalp usually appears with a round patch of hair loss and patch scaling of the scalp. The hair usually breaks off short and there is a brown scaling on the skin surface. (The affected hair is usually very fragile.)
A child with ringworm should be kept away from school. All infected hairs should be shaved away and destroyed, and contacts careful examined. Local anti-fungal products should be applied twice a day to the affected area and oral anti-fungal therapy should be taken for six weeks under medical supervision.