What is ringworm?
Ringworm– which has absolutely nothing at all to do with worms– is an infectious fungal infection of the skin. It can be itchy and unpleasant, however it’s not agonizing or hazardous. When the fungus affects the scalp, the condition is called tinea capitis, when it affects the body it’s tinea corporis.
(By the method, professional athlete’s foot is tinea pedis, and jock itch is tinea cruris– all are caused by fungi.) Ringworm appears most commonly in children over the age of 2, but it’s possible for children and grownups to obtain it too.
Causes of Ringworm in Children
People and animals can both be infected with the fungus that causes ringworm. If your baby has contact with an infected person or animal, she may catch the fungi. The fungus resides in damp areas, so towels, clothing, hats, and hairbrushes might nurture the fungus. He may also pick up the fungus by walking barefoot around pool area or an infected swimming pool space. There is some research that supports the idea that some babies may have a hereditary predisposition to ringworm.
If your baby has ringworm on his body, he’ll have one or more scaly patches, probably between the size of a cent and a quarter. While the spots do not constantly start out round, by the time they’re about half an inch across, they normally form a scaly ring around a smooth center. As the fungi grows, the ring gets larger, however it typically stops growing by the time it’s about an inch in diameter. The rash can be dry or moist, and it can appear nearly anywhere on the body.
When the fungus affects the scalp, the rash generally has less of a ring-like look. Rather, you may discover either patchy, scaly areas or bald spots on your baby’s head. You may likewise see stubs of hair broken off in the middle of the bald spots.
It’s easy to puzzle ringworm of the scalp with a much more typical baby condition called cradle cap. I, so if you aren’t sure what your baby has, ask your doctor to take a look.
Your baby might also establish an area of inflammation, called a kerion, in response to the fungi. It’ll look like a wet, inflamed area on the scalp, with pustules (little pimple-like bumps). This will clear up when you treat your baby’s scalp for the ringworm.
How did my baby get ringworm?
Opportunities are your baby got ringwormProbably from contact with an infected individual or family pet. The fungi can likewise be caught from infected towels, hairbrushes, combs, hats, and other clothing. If he’s walking, he could also have picked it up on his feet from toddling around barefoot in an infected locker room or pool area.
Professionals think there’s some hereditary tendency for capturing ringworm. And excess sweating seems to increase the possibilities, too, as it the condition grows best in humid environments.
The doctor will probably be able to inform whether your baby has ringworm by taking a look at his skin or scalp. She might likewise take a look at the inflamed area under a special light or do a painless scraping of your baby’s skin to analyze under a microscope.
Ringworm in babies: what does it look like
Some types of eczema can look precisely like ringworm, particularly in children
Ringworm in Babies: How to Treat
For any uncommon rash on your baby, start by talking with his doctor. For ringworm on the body, she’ll most likely suggest an over-the-counter antifungal cream. You’ll have to apply it twice a day, covering an area about an inch beyond the rash.
It usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks to get rid of ringworm, and you’ll continue to utilize the cream for a week after the rash is gone. (Some children are sensitive to these creams, so attempt utilizing simply a bit at first to see how your baby’s skin responds. Consult your doctor for alternatives if your baby establishes a various rash in response to the cream.) Keep in mind to wash your hands well after you apply the cream.
If your baby has a stubborn case of ringworm, the doctor may prescribe something stronger than the over the counter cream. And in some uncommon cases (seldom), an oral medication is also needed.
Ringworm of the scalp can be harder to deal with and can take longer to clear up. Your doctor will recommend an oral antifungal medicine as well as a medicated shampoo. It will most likely take a minimum of six to 8 weeks to clear up.
Ensure you completely clean your baby’s bedding and clothes when you begin treatment so that he doesn’t get reinfected.
Problems after Ringworm
Your baby could develop a microbial infection from scratching his skin, so it’s a good idea to keep his nails brief and see him closely. If you notice that he’s scratching, you might wish to put little mittens or socks on his hands while he sleeps. Talk with your child’s doctor once again if the rash doesn’t look much better after about a week of treatment.
Should I keep my baby home from daycare?
Ask your day care company what the center’s policy is on children going to when they have ringworm. When your baby has begun treatment, it ought to be no issue, however until then, they may or may not desire you to keep him in your home.
It’s tough to completely protect your baby from ringworm, but there are a few things you can do to reduce his possibilities:
- Assist him avoid extreme sweating (by not overdressing him, for example).
- If he’s walking, have him use sandals at swimming pool areas and in locker rooms.
- Do not let others (like siblings) share towels, hairbrushes, pillows, clothing, or similar products with your baby.
- Check animals to make sure that they don’t have any scaly, hairless patches. If they do, take them to the vet for treatment. (In reality, even if a pet doesn’t show symptoms, it’s a good idea to bring it in for a checkup if your baby keeps getting reinfected.).
- If other member of the family show symptoms, make sure they get treated instantly.
Inspect to see that shared areas– like locker spaces at day care– are kept clean.