RingwormRingworm has nothing to do with worms!
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin and worms have absolutely nothing to do with the condition. Ringworm is caused by a fungus called a Dermatphyte. There are different types of Dermatophytes and they all affect different areas of the body. Your child might experience ringworm of the scalp, body, nails or feet (athletes' feet). Ringworm can be spread through both direct and indirect contact. Transmission is possible through person to person contact and also by touching objects that an infected person has touched. Clothes, brushes, towels, linens, telephones, doorknobs, shopping carts and other items all can carry the infection. Occasionally, ringworm is spread through contact with soil. Outbreaks of ringworm are not uncommon in daycare and school settings.
Ringworm usually appears 4 to 14 days after exposure to the infection. The duration of the condition depends on treatment and how your child reacts to the infection. Ringworm can be recognized by its pattern of development. The lesions will begin as small, round, red spots that get progressively larger. When they are amall, the center begins to clean and when they get the size of a dime, they have the appearance of a ring. The border is red, elevated and scaly. Your child might have one ringworm or she might have several.
Ringworm is difficult to prevent and is very contagious. The best way to prevent the spread of ringworm is to educate yourself, your children and your community about the condition. Daycares and schools should be kept clean and all children and adults should wash their hands thoroughly throughout the day. Personal items should not be shared and gym mats and sleeping mats should be sanitized after each use.
If you suspect that your child has ringworm, call their pediatrican for an evaluation. If ringworm is present, a fungus-killing medication will be prescribed to clear up the infection. The medicine comes in tablet, liqid or topical cream forms. If ringworm is left untreated, it can cause an infection that is hard to cure. To prevent spreading the condition to others, you should minimize the amount of exposure your child has around other people. Make sure that you completely treat your child's ringworm for the recommended duration, even if the ringworm looks better.
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