Ringworm

Skin conditions in children are very common. Often parents get worried because of  the severity of the condition or its outward appearance. Here is some information to help you understand the condition more fully
Ringworm
One of the most common conditions is ringworm.  Ringworm is a common skin disorder otherwise known as tinea. While there are multiple forms of ringworm, the most common affect the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or ‘athlete’s foot’), or the groin (tinea cruris, or ‘jock itch’). We see a large number of cases of the tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) at the office

What is it?

It is a fungal infection called tinea, that can affect the skin, hair and nails.

On the skin, it usually starts as a red, scaly patch which, over time, may begin to look like a ring with raised, bumpy borders. Not everyone develops rings. In the scalp, it may start as a  that is flaky or scaly. The fungus invades the hair shafts, causing them to become weakened and break off easily, producing hair loss.

Is it contagious?

Yes it is, and can easily be passed from one person to another. A person is not contagious after starting treatment, although the rash may still be present.

What to do if you see the rash?

Check your doctor right away to get the proper anti-fungal treatment. For those with scalp infections, you may have to go on medication by mouth for as long as 4-6 weeks.

How can we prevent it?

Hand washing remains the best defense, but is is difficult to avoid as the fungi are very common.
Do not allow sharing of hair brushes/combs in a daycare

Here are some slideshows from MedicineNet about ringworm and other common skin conditions:

Skin problems in children slideshow: http://www.medicinenet.com/skin-problems-child-pictures-slideshow/article.htm

Slideshow on ringworm:
http://www.medicinenet.com/ringworm-pictures-slideshow/article.htm

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