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Tinea Infections (Ringworm)

What are tinea infections (ringworm)?

Different fungi, depending on their location on the child's body, cause ringworm. Ringworm is characterized by ring-shaped red, scaly patches with clearing centers. There is an increased risk of contracting ringworm if your child:

What are the most common types of ringworm?

The most common types of ringworm include the following:

Ringworm of the scalp can also develop into a kerion, a large, tender lesion over the area of the initial ringworm. This is caused by a hypersensitivity to the ringworm and may be associated with a rash elsewhere and tender lymph nodes in the neck.

Ringworm resembles many skin conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How is ringworm diagnosed?

Ringworm is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of your child. The lesions of ringworm are unique, and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. In addition, your child's physician may order a culture or skin scraping of the lesion to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for ringworm:

Because the fungi can live indefinitely on the skin, recurrences of ringworm are likely. Treatment may need to be repeated. Specific treatment will be determined by your child's physician based on:

Treatment for scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) may include the following:

If a kerion is present (a large, tender, swollen lesion), your child's physician may order additional medications, such as steroids, to help reduce the swelling.

Treatment for ringworm of the body, groin, and foot is usually a topical anti-fungal agent or an oral antifungal medication. The length of the treatment depends on the location of the ringworm.

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