Ringworm is a common
fungal infection of the skin seen most often on the scalp, body, feet ("athlete's
foot"), or groin ("jock
itch"). Ringworm isn't a worm — its name comes from how it looks, like a
red ring or group of rings with clear centers.
Signs and Symptoms
On the skin:
starts as a red, scaly patch or bump
usually shaped like a circle with raised, tiny bumps around the edges (often with
a scaly center)
On the scalp:
may start as a round, reddish, pimple-like sore
becomes patchy, flaky, scaly, or crusty (may first be mistaken for dandruff)
causes swelling, soreness, redness, bald patches (usually circular), and broken
What to Do
Call your doctor if you think your child has signs of ringworm.
Follow the doctor's treatment instructions carefully. Depending on the type and
site of the infection, these may include using over-the-counter or prescription cream
for the skin, or prescription oral (taken by mouth) medicine for the scalp.
Discourage your child from picking at the infected area because this could cause
another type of infection.
Call your doctor if the area gets redder, is swollen, or develops pus.
Prevent ringworm by encouraging your kids to:
not share combs, brushes, hair accessories, pillows, hats, cellphones, and headphones
wear flip-flops at the pool or in the locker room shower