Preventative Care

Ring Worm

By: Suzanne Ulmer, CPNP

Contrary to its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm but is actually a skin infection caused by a fungus. It is commonly known as ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped, red, itchy rash on the skin. Ringworm can also be referred to by its medical name, Tinea.

There are many different types of ringworm infections, which are named based on the part of the body that is affected:

  • Tinea Capitis affects the top of the head or scalp and is found most often in children.
  • Tinea Pedis affects the feet and is more commonly known as athlete’s foot.
  • Tinea Curis affects the groin, and is also called the lovely jock itch.
  • Tinea Faciei affects the face and similarly, Tinea Barbae affects facial hair.
  • Tinea Manuum affects the hands. This type is much less common than athlete’s foot but does still occur.
  • Tinea Corporis is the catch all term for tinea infections on all other body surfaces.

Grossed out yet? It gets a bit worse I fear…

How is my child contracting a fungal infection like ringworm? You and your child can catch fungal infections from anyone who is infected, as well as anything (think cats and dogs). You can also get a fungal infection from places like a shower stall, locker room floor, or an area near a pool where the fungus could be present.

Wearing shoes in public areas with water will really help your child avoid a bad case of tinea. Also, maintaining overall hygiene and regularly checking any household pets for fungal infection will help too.

A general rule to live by is that warmth and dampness combined create the perfect breeding ground for fungus. Think dry and cool for you and your little ones.

Ok the worst is over. Good news ahead!

How are fungal infections treated? Treatment for fungal infections depends on what part of your body is infected. A fungal infection on your child’s scalp requires oral medication that they take for 1-3 months. If you have a fungal infection on other body parts they can usually avoid the oral medication and can use a special cream, gel, powder, or lotion that kills the fungus. This treatment usually lasts for 2-4 weeks.

Not sure if your child’s new skin irritation is a form of fungus? Don’t hesitate to call us and we can get you pointed in the right direction (864) 272-0388.

Until next time,

Suzanne Ulmer

Parkside Provider, grandmother of four, and strongly opposed to mayonnaise

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