Even though ringworm isn’t a life threatening condition no parent wants to see their children experiencing this persistent fungal infection. Dermatophytes is the name of the fungi that causes the different kinds of ringworm your kid can catch which include:
Ringworm on the Body – Tinea Corporis
Ringworm on the Scalp – Tinea Capitis
Ringworm on the Feet – Tinea Pedis or Athlete’s Foot
Ringworm on the Groin – Tinea Cruris or Jock Itch
What Signs To Look Out For
Anyone can catch ringworm regardless of age but young children tend to experience ringworm because of the way the play and socialize with other children. You will know your child has ringworm when he or she develops scaly patches the size of a dime or quarter on their body.
These scaly patches will gradually grow outward and form red looking rings, which gives it its name. The center of this ring will look smooth and normal while the rash on the outside is dry and causes a lot of itching and irritation to your child. However, please note that ringworm in children doesn’t always display a ring pattern on the body when a child gets infected.
If your child has ringworm on his or her feet you’ll notice a rash in between their toes and it will look dry and scaly. If your child has this type of ringworm which is also known as athlete’s foot, your child may have ringworm in the jock area as well (also known as jock itch).
If your child has ringworm on his or her nails you’ll notice that their nails are turning into another color such as yellow or white. Also, the nails on the hands or feet are probably thick and look brittle.
If your child has ringworm on his or her head you’ll notice ring shaped pattern on their scalp, which leaves a patch in their head. You’ll notice bald spots all over your child’s head and some hair will be broken off in the center of the bald spots.
How Did Your Child Get Ringworm?
Ringworm in children normally develop due to contact with an infected pet in the household or an infected child at school or daycare. Also, if your child comes in contact with any infected items such as clothing, combs, brushes, hats, sheets, pillows, or towels there is a good chance they’ll catch the infection.
Your child can also catch the infection from walking around barefoot in moist areas like around the pool or locker rooms. Excessive sweating can also cause your child to develop this fungal infection. Since children’s immune system isn’t that strong yet they are very vulnerable to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is why you have to do everything you can to protect your child from developing this problem in the first place.
How to Prevent Your Child From Catching Ringworm
There is no way to totally protect your child from catching ringworm. However, there are definitely some key steps you can take to greatly reduce the chances of them developing this fungal infection.
Make sure he or she wears sandals or slippers when at the pool, locker rooms, or public restrooms.
Never allow him or her to share personal products like clothing, pillows, hairbrushes, combs, towels, and other such items at daycare or school.
Do everything you can to keep your child from sweating excessively.
Examine all the pets in the household and make sure they don’t show any signs of this fungal infection. Look for scaly, bald patches in their fur. If you notice any signs of ringworm take them to vet immediately. If you notice your child keeps getting reinfected take the pet to the veterinarian to get a checkup just to be sure.
Make sure you sanitize all surfaces in your home since fungi like ringworm can hang around on surfaces like countertops if they aren’t properly cleaned and sanitized.
Throw out any products that the infected child may have used to avoid him or her getting reinfected, and to avoid anyone else catching the infection.
Treatment for Ringworm in Children
When it comes to treatment the first thing you should do is take the child to the doctor to get him or her properly diagnosed. The doctor will most likely provide you with an antifungal cream you can use to apply consistently to the affected areas until the infection is gone.
When you apply the cream rub it in with your fingers and then allow it to soak into the infection and go to work. In some cases the antifungal creams don’t do much to help. If you want to try an alternative to over the counter creams there are a variety of home remedies out there you can use to give your child the relief he or she needs.
One of these first home remedies that has been proven to work it tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has great anti-fungal properties and is mild enough to be used on children. Get some 100% tea tree oil and apply it to the infected areas using a cotton ball. Allow the oil to sit on the skin for a while until it dries up.
The oil will help dry out the ringworm and eventually help it fade away. Apply the oil to the infected areas 2 to 3 times a day until you notice the infection is gone.
One other home remedy that really works to remove ringworm in children is garlic. Garlic has great anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that will help get rid of ringworm. Make a garlic paste by mincing up some raw garlic in a food processor and then apply it directly to your child’s infection.
Allow the paste to sit on the infection until it dries up, and much like tea tree oil it will dry out the ringworm and remove it for good. Apply the garlic paste to the infected area 2 to 3 times a day until you notice the infection is gone.