What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin. The raised, red, ring-like appearance gives it the name. Despite the name, there is no worm involved.
What causes ringworm?
Funguses like Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton can cause ringworm. These funguses spread from other children, some animals and the envirnoment. These funguses have the ability to breakdown keratin, a key component of skin, nails and hair.
What does ringworm infection look like?
The lesion typically starts as a small red or pink bump that expands over several days or weeks. As the lesion gets bigger, the inside part returns to a normal (or slightly scaly) skin appearance. This give the lesion a ring-like appearance. The edges are often slightly raised. The lesion is often itchy and in some cases can be swollen and painful.
How is ringworm diagnosed?
Usually, a physician can diagnose ringworm on sight. If necessary, the lesion can be scraped with a microscope slide and the skin flakes can be viewed under a microscope. The scrapings can also be "cultured" by a laboratory for confusing cases.
Is ringworm contagious?
Yes. Although, a child who is receiving treatment does not need to be isolated from other healthy children.
How is ringworm treated?
Topical antifungal agents are available as creams and ointments. Some examples are miconazole, clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, terbinafine, and naftifine. These agents are typically applied twice daily for 2–4 weeks.
Last Updated (Sunday, 29 August 2010 12:05)