A common and easily treated skin infection caused by a fungus called a dermatophyte (literally, “skin plant”), which invades in the outermost layer of skin.
Ringworm is mildly contagious through direct contact. Poor hygiene increases the likelihood of infection to anyone who comes in contact with the fungus can become infected. House pets such as cats and dogs can pass dermatophytes to children via direct contact with
Ringworm usually begins as one or more small, und, somewhat itchy, scaly, reddish spots that gradually increase in size. As each spot grows, its center usually begins to clear while the outer rim becomes raised. (The circular shape of the eruption and the wormlike appear-cc of the outer rim are the inspiration for its name.)Your child’s doctor can often diagnose ringworm simply by its appearance. He or she may scan the skin with an ultraviolet light, since areas infected by some dermatophytes may glow slightly, or gently take scrap from the front the affected skin and look for signs of the fungus under a microscope.
Once the diagnosis is made, ringworm can usually be treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication (creams). Depending upon the type used, the cream should be applied for two to three weeks to be effective. In severe cases oral medications may be pre-‘scribed. Skin-to-skin contact with infected individuals and pets should be minimized to avoid spreading the infection.