At first, I just ignored it thinking that it will just go away on its own. But then I noticed that it spread on some part of his body. I got worried and as always, I looked on Google to at least know what I'm worried about.
What are Ringworms?
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin. It's called ringworm because the infection appears as a rash in a ring or round shape. It can be itchy, but it's not painful or dangerous. It's the same fungus that causes athlete's foot. It's common in children and usually affects only the body or scalp
What does it looks like?
If you think your baby has a ringworm, she will have rash of one or several red rings on her chest, stomach, thighs, or back which will be crusty or scaly on the outside and smooth in the middle. They may also feel itchy. As the fungus grows, the rings get larger, ranging in size from a few millimetres to a few centimetres.
Ringworm can also affect your baby's scalp. It usually appears as dandruff or bald spots. It can be dry and crusty, or moist and filled with pus. It is easy to confuse ringworm with dandruff or cradle cap.
How did my baby got ringworm?
The ringworm fungus would have entered our baby's body through broken skin, such as a cut or scratch, or a patch of eczema. He might probably got it from an infected person or pet, or from touching contaminated sheets, towels, toys or clothes or even from infected soil if she was crawling around in the garden or park.
While scalp ringworm is much more likely to have been passed to your baby from another person, from sharing a hairbrush, hat, bedclothes or towels. Shared public facilities, such as swimming pools, or changing room showers are also potential sources of ringworm infection.
How to treat baby's ringworm?
Baby's ringworm should clear up if treated it with an over-the-counter antifungal cream, the same type of cream used for athlete's foot. Look for a product with one or two per cent of clotrimazole or miconazole. Don't forget to ask your pharmacist for advice.
Smooth a small amount of the cream over and a little bit beyond the infected area twice a day. Carry on treating it for a further one to two weeks once the rash has cleared. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to prevent passing the infection.
Some children are sensitive to these creams, so try using a little bit of the cream first to see how your baby's skin reacts.
If a rash develops in response to the cream, take your baby to the doctor. Your doctor will suggest alternative creams.
Ringworm should get better with treatment within about four weeks. If your baby's ringworm carries on longer than this, take her to the doctor.
If your baby has ringworm on her scalp, this can be more difficult to treat using a cream. See your doctor, who will probably prescribe an antifungal tablets and a medicated shampoo.
Hygiene is also important to help remove ringworm fungus around and inside the house:
- Gently wash and dry the areas of ringworm on your baby's body. Take care with the areas between the toes and skin folds. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Wash your hands after applying antifungal cream or shampoo to your baby's skin.
- Keep your baby's towels, sheets, clothes, hairbrush and toys separate, and wash them frequently to remove ringworm fungus.
- Dress your baby in loose fitting cotton clothes that cover her legs and arms.
- Keep your baby's fingernails short to prevent her scratching and spreading the infection to other parts of her body.
Can ringworm cause any complications?
Occasionally ringworm can spread to another part of your baby's body. If it appears on her scalp there's a small possibility it could cause slight scarring or hair loss.
Ringworm can sometimes lead to a secondary infection by bacteria or another fungus. Your baby may need antibiotics if she develops another infection. Take your baby to the doctor if your baby develops other rashes or symptoms.
How to prevent having ringworms?
- It's hard to protect our baby from having ringworm, but there are a few things you can do to keep it from spreading further:
- Tell your friends and family your baby has ringworm so they can check to see if they have been infected.
- Take your pets for a check-up at the vets if you notice crusty bald patches of skin, which is a sign of a ringworm infection. Also take them to the vet even if there are no signs of infection. Animals can sometimes carry the fungus without showing any signs of it.
- Make sure everyone in your household washes their hands frequently.
- Wash everyone's bedding, towels and clothes, and wash or throw away any hairbrushes or clothes what could be infected.
- If your baby has ringworm on her scalp, treat all family members with antifungal shampoo.
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