Ringworm

Main Symptoms

  • Round pink patch
  • Clearing of the center as the patch grows
  • Raised, rough, scaly border
  • Usually 1 inch in size
  • Ring slowly increases in size/mildly itchy
  • Main Cause: a fungus infection of the skin transmitted from puppies or kittens who have it, or from the soil

See More Appropriate Topic

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If

  • Pus is draining from the rash

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Scalp is involved
  • More than 3 spots are present
  • You have other questions or concerns

Parent Care at Home If

  • Mild ringworm and you don't think your child needs to be seen

Home Care Advice for Ringworm of the Body

  1. Antifungal Cream
    • Use Micatin or Lotrimin cream (no prescription needed) 2 times per day.
    • Apply it to the rash and 1 inch beyond its borders
    • Continue the cream for at least 7 days after the rash is cleared
  2. Contagiousness: Ringworm of the skin is mildly contagious. It requires direct skin-to-skin contact. The type acquired from pets is not transmitted from human to human, only from animal to human. After 48 hours of treatment, ringworm is not contagious at all. Your child doesn't have to miss any day care or school for ringworm.
  3. Expected Course: It clears completely in 3 to 4 weeks. For any recurrences, suspect the household puppy or kitten and take it to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Call Your Doctor If
    • Rash continues to spread after 1 week on treatment
    • Rash is not cleared by 4 weeks
    • Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms