Ringworm in Kids

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Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin. Its real name is tinea. Children can pick up ringworm from animals, other people and soil. Ringworm is usually easy to treat. Ringworm (tinea) is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi infect the skin, but they don’t spread inside the body. Children most commonly get ringworm from young animals, like kittens and guinea pigs. They can also pick it up through contact with infected people and contaminated objects, including carpet, floors, clothing and towels. Soil contains ringworm fungi too.

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Ringworm usually gets better quickly when you treat it with anti-fungal creams, which you can buy over the counter at the pharmacy. Ringworm treatment with anti-fungal creams usually takes several weeks to work. Your doctor might recommend that you keep applying the cream to the affected skin for a week after the rash has disappeared. This should stop the ringworm coming back. If anti-fungal creams don’t work, or the ringworm is on your child’s scalp, your doctor might prescribe anti-fungal tablets. These need to be taken under medical supervision. If the infection is on the scalp, your child might have bald patches for a few months after it has cleared. Don’t worry, though – the hair will grow back normally.

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