Video:How to Identify Ringworm in a Childwith Dr. Danelle Fisher
Identifying ringworm in a child is easy if you know what to look for. Watch this About.com video to see what ringworm looks like and what the signs are.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Identify Ringworm in a Child
Hi I'm Dr. Danelle Fisher, Board Certified Pediatrician with www.WestchesterPeds.com and I'm here today for About.com to talk to you about how to identify ringworm in a child.
What Is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a rash caused by a fungal infection. The rash is not caused by a worm. Rather, ringworm gets its name from the appearance of the rash, which has a ring-shaped border. Ringworm can be seen in humans, especially in children, and in animals, including dogs and cats. Let's take a closer look at the appearance of ringworm on the skin.
What Does Ringworm Look Like?
Typically this rash appears reddish and scaly with a ring-shaped raised border and central clearing of the rash inside the ring. There can be one isolated lesion or several at one time.
What Does Ringworm Feel Like?
The rash is mildly itchy. Different locations targeted by the fungus include the skin, the face, the scalp, the feet, the groin, and the nails. Ringworm is contagious, both to oneself causing spread from one area of the body to another and to people who touch the affected area.
Fungus grows in warm, moist places and is common in locker rooms, in showers and in skin folds. Athletes are at a high risk for ringworm and may contract it from sharing sports equipment or clothing. Diagnosis of ringworm is usually made by the appearance of the rash.
Dianosing and Treating Ringworm
There are other rashes with similar appearances, so your doctor may take a scraping of the area to look for fungal cells under a microscope or shine a special blue light called a Wood's lamp on the skin to look for a glow. If the diagnosis is difficult, the doctor may also take a culture of the fungus, which will take up to several weeks to grow. Treatment of a simple ringworm infection on one area of the skin may consist of over-the-counter anti-fungal creams containing miconazole or clotrimazole for up to 2 weeks twice daily.
More serious infections or those affecting the scalp or the nails will need treatment with oral antifungal medication, in the form of liquid or pills for up to 2-8 weeks or more. Prevention of ringworm starts with avoidance of sharing clothes or sporting equipment and wearing shoes in locker rooms, in public showers and around pools. It's also important to completely dry off after showers or baths and change underwear and socks at least once a day.
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