Ringworm in children is quite common. This is because children often have poor personal hygiene and also often play in unclean areas. Among children, because contact between children is higher between the ages of 4 and 16, these children have a higher susceptibility to this contagious disease (Adfemi et al. 2011). So what symptoms of ringworm in children must you look for? Will there be a different way of treating ringworm in children compared to adults?

Ringworm in children is an infection that is caused by a fungus. The particular fungus that cause the infection are “dermatophytes” which are known to infect the superficial layers of the skin of humans and animals. In most cases, the infection occurs on the back, scalp, stomach, feet, and at times even the groin area. If the infection is located on the feet it is called athlete’s foot, and if located on the groin area it is called jock itch.

Ringworm is something that will be often circular in shape (however, it may be disfigured), extremely itchy and red, and can even be scaly. Ringworm in children is something that is very contagious and quite easy to pass on to other people.

If you think that you child has ringworm, then there are many over the counter anti-fungal creams and ointments that you can buy at your local pharmacy (or online at Amazon.com), that are very helpful. You can visit our “how to get rid of ringworm” page for some good suggestions. Ringworm is often cured the same way for either adults or children.

Remember, ringworm in children on the scalp is more difficult to cure. When located on the scalp, ringworm is often hard to get rid of by creams because hair gives the fungus a little more protection from the application of the topical anti fungal ointments. Without proper treatment however, the infection could eventually lead to temporary hair loss. If your child has ringworm of the scalp, go see a doctor for the best treatment. Usually, they will prescribe an anti fungal shampoo for the infection.

If the ringworm doesn’t clear up with ointments the best idea is to go visit your doctor. With that visit a doctor they will look at the skin and also do a culture to see if it is a fungal problem. Because ringworm presents itself in so many ways, it could possibly be some other kind of skin problem.

Finding out that someone has ringworm in the family will require that you check the family pets too. Often humans get the infection from their pets who have gotten it from their environment.

Sources: Adfemi. Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice. 2011 Jan-Mar;14(1):23-8.