What is ringworm, and how can I tell if my child is infected?
The Pediatrician Answers:
Ringworm is an infection of the skin by fungi of the genus Trichophyton. The lesion is usually circular, slightly red, and has distinct margins. It generally has a scaly appearance and may itch. Sometimes it is confused with an allergic rash.
Diagnosis can be made firmly by taking a culture of a scaping of the margin, but many times the physician will make the diagnosis by the appearance of the lesion. The fungi are found all over the world and are spread by contact with infected people, animals, or nonliving items (such as clothing or bed linens) that have been in contact with infectedpeople or animals.
Treatment is usually with an antifungal cream such as miconizole, clotrimazole, terbinafate, econazole, tolnaftate, naftifine, ciclopirox, ketoconazole, oxiconazole, or sulconazole. Some of these preparations can be purchased without a prescription (such as Lotrimin = clotrimazole); others require a prescription.